Eddie Jones has told Joe Marler he will still be considered for future England selection despite withdrawing from the 2021 Six Nations squad.
There had been reports that this latest move would see the loosehead-prop retire from international rugby for a second time.
However, Jones insist Marler could still add to this 66 caps.
“Joe has made a decision that we 100 per cent support,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday during the virtual launch of the 2021 Six Nations.
“When he decides to make himself available again, we will have a look at selection. And that’s how we look at it — 100 percent. No ifs or buts, it’s as clear as a day.
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“There will be some time in the future when he’s ready to come back and will get selected. We’ll take that when it comes.”
Former Australia and Japan coach Jones added of the 72-times capped Marler: “Joe has been an outstanding player during my time with England, and I’m sure he was outstanding before that.
“He is tough, abrasive, a good defender, a great guy off the field. He’s a bit nutty, but we like that, it’s good to have characters like that in the squad.”
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5. Paul O’Connell (Ireland)