BEPPU, 16 Oct - Joe Marler is determined to achieve a "life-changing" World Cup triumph and steal some of the limelight from England's 2003 heroes.

The prop, who came out of retirement to be part of Eddie Jones's squad in Japan, is fit and brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final against Australia in Oita.

"I want to be part of a squad that wins a World Cup," the 29-year-old said on Tuesday. "That was part of the reason I came out of retirement. I could see the potential in this group and I wanted a taste of that. That's what's driving me on for the next couple of weeks.

"Yes, it would be life-changing in the sense that we'd have won the World Cup. I'm sure a lot of 2003 (World Cup-winning) boys will then be looking over their shoulders thinking, 'Oh God, we're going to be struggling for after-dinner gigs now.'

"I think this group has got a mindset of 'bring it on'. We talk a lot about bring it on, bring on the challenges; we embrace it and we look forward to trying to take it as opposed to shying away from it."

Marler has little time for those pointing out that only a handful of the England players have experienced a World Cup quarter-final. He refers to the presence of so many Saracens players, who are the current European and English double champions.

"Quite a few of the Saracens boys have played in big, high-pressure games," he said. "On paper, there are only four boys who have been in a (RWC) quarter-final before, but there's enough experience in that Saracens contingent – they've been in big games consistently over the past four to five years.

"They're big leaders in this team, huge cogs, and I think we've got enough in us to be able to cope with the challenge that presents itself on Saturday."


Marler is confident he has recovered from a hamstring injury, after struggling to be fit to face France last weekend before that match was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis. He injured his leg sprinting in the victory over Argentina – something he has vowed not to try again.

"I attempted to sprint, which is not like me, and I got a little tweak," he said. "What I often do is just concentrate on pushing and then plodding but when a scrum-half tried to make a break, even though we were 25 points up, I decided to try and chase him down.

"Ridiculous, and it’s not going a happen again. I'll stick with plodding.”

Marler was in the England team four years ago that lost pool matches to Australia and Wales to become the first host country to fail to make the knockout stages.

That 33-13 defeat by Australia at Twickenham in 2015 helped dismiss the notion the Wallabies can still be pressured at the scrum and the Harlequins prop believes the view is long out of date.

"Traditionally, in a different generation, there were always question marks over Australia being weak up front and being wet at scrum time," Marler said. "They showed in 2015 when Mario Ledesma was there (as scrum coach) that he transformed them a bit and he made a huge impact.

"You’ve got Scott Sio, who I think’s got 70 caps, top quality loosehead; Tolu Latu, he’s a huge leader for them and a big, big unit and then you’ve got young Allan Alaalatoa, who’s been going really well. So that narrative is no longer the case."

RNS cj/sg/djk/sw