Joe Marler is hoping that his fiancé’s grandma does not need to write another angry letter after this year’s Six Nations showdown between England and Wales.
The Harlequins loose-head was given a master class in scrummaging by his opposite man, Adam Jones, at the Millennium Stadium last March and found himself on the end of some harsh words in the national press.
England’s 30-3 defeat to Wales crushed their Grand Slam hopes and in turn handed the title across the border.
“My fiancé’s nan is a massive rugby fan and she read one of the articles after that game,” said Marler, 23.
“She said ‘I’ve written a letter… They’re being very mean’. I just said ‘calm down dear, they’re entitled to their opinion’.”
“We let a little bit of history pass us by, but that tournament’s done. It’s dead and buried now and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into another Test match.”
Marler is expected to get another chance against Jones next Sunday, but this year’s head-to-head will come under slightly different circumstances.
Not only will the match be at Twickenham, but it was also be played under the new scrummaging laws, which have not always worked in Jones’ favour so far this season.
“I’ve not watched back any videos from last year,” said Marler. “ It’s probably not worthwhile watching it again because of the new scrum laws.
“Adam Jones has gone well against a lot of opposition he’s come up against this year and gone not so well against some other opposition.
“Whoever gets the rub of the green will end up coming out on top.”
Bath prop David Wilson is expected to start in the front row alongside Marler, who fondly refers to his England colleague as ‘ Moose’.
Wilson stepped in against Ireland for the injured Dan Cole and, having played only 47 minutes of rugby this year, put in an impressive shift against Lions prop Cian Healy.
“It was a big loss losing Coley,” said Marler. “He hasn’t missed many England games over the last four or five years.
“But ‘Moose’ came in and did a hell of a job. He put in a decent shift and now he’s up to speed training wise.
“He’s more than capable. I don’t know why we call him ‘Moose’ but it’s just stuck. He responds to it with a grunt.
“I don’t think he’s got a nickname for me, but it would probably something derogatory like Croissant Nose or Shlid.”
Together, Croissant Nose and Moose will be out to exact revenge on the powerful Welsh pack, but Marler is not about to get carried away with emotions.
“They won that game fair and square and both teams are in different positions this year,” he said. “If you get caught up in this whole revenge thing then you can end up forgetting what you need to do to win.”
Get behind-the-scenes news from Joe Marler and his England team-mates with Inside Line, the weekly show from O2 in partnership with England Rugby, at www.O2InsideLine.comReuse content