Joe Marler has announced his retirement from international rugby.
The 28 year-old withdrew on Sunday from the three-day camp in Bristol citing ‘personal reasons’. and there is now increased speculation that the long-standing international loosehead, who was part of the Lions midweek side on the tour to New Zealand in 2017, has set to call time on his international career.
— Telegraph Rugby (@TelegraphRugby) September 26, 2018
It will be a blow to Eddie Jones only 12 months out from the World Cup in Japan with Marler a valued member of the front-row resources, dovetailing with Mako Vunipola on the starting roster.
Marler made the first of his 58 caps against South Africa where he started two test matches at loose-head prop in the summer of 2012.
He also made two appearances for the British & Irish Lions during their 2017 tour to New Zealand.
Marler, 28, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to represent my country and of course this has been a very difficult decision to make, but I have decided to retire from playing international rugby with immediate effect to spend more time with my family.
“It is an incredible commitment to play rugby for England and I strongly believe that if you are unable to give yourself fully to it then it is time to step away. Otherwise it would not be fair on the team, or my family. Being with England you have to spend an incredible amount of time away and I could not do that anymore.
“So now is the time to walk away and get some new blood in the team. And I am looking forward to being able to give my wife and children more of my time.
“I would like to thank everyone at England for the opportunities that I have been given. I will always be grateful for the memories playing for my country has given me.”
Having represented his country at U18 and U20 level, Marler won his first Senior England cap during their 2012 tour to South Africa.