Joe Marler has revealed the hilarious reason he is yet turn up to pre-season training with Harlequins.
“I don’t know a single player in any sport that would be worried about missing pre-season,” Marler said on Breakfast.
“This ain’t a protest, it’s just that I have forgot the dates,” he joked. “No, that’s not fair, I’ve actually taken a delayed paternity leave.
“So my missus had a kid in…when was it? Six, seven weeks ago and it was around the Premiership semi-final time.
“And I said to the boss, ‘I’m going to have to take paternity, mate. I’ve looked in the contract, I’ve never had paternity before and apparently you can get away with it.’
“He said, ‘That’s alright, when are you going to take it?’ And I said, ‘Well, as soon as the baby comes – that’s kind of what it is for.’
“And he said, ‘But that’s the semi-final and potential final?’ I said. ‘Yeah sorry mate, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.’
“So I said I would take it delayed, so this is just one of the delayed points.”
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Joe Marler ranks his five toughest opponents
#5. Rory Best (Ireland)
The hooker, 36, made his international debut in 2005 and his tally of 124 caps is the third highest for Ireland. Since succeeding Paul O’Connell as captain in 2013, Best led Ireland to three Six Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in 2018.