England prop Joe Marler has admitted that he is in a ‘different headspace’ after reversing his retirement to have a shot at the World Cup.
Marler hung up his Test boots last year, when he spoke openly about the stresses and anxiety of leaving behind his family for Red Rose camps.
Now the 29-year-old is challenging to make the final 31-man squad for Japan, admitting that the opportunity to return was too good to turn down.
‘Things change, don’t they?’ said Marler. ‘I wanted to come and give it another crack. Why? I missed it.
‘I missed it but I needed to have that step away from it all. It was the right decision for me at the time but I’m in a different headspace now… Fully committed to not being one of the seven who miss out on the 31 places.
‘This is such a huge opportunity, being part of the World Cup, and I felt ready to give it a crack. Before I didn’t feel ready to do that.
‘The World Cup squad’s announced on the 12th of August and I’ll give it 114 per cent.’
Competition at looselead prop is tight, with Marler competing for selection with Mako Vunipola, Ben Moon and Ellis Genge.