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Joe Marler Envies The Irish Rugby System

England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler says he is envious of the current set-up in Ireland in terms of management of their international players. 

Currently, in countries like Ireland and Wales, the unions determine the number of minutes their respective international players can play throughout a season for their clubs.

However, this is not the case in England, where players are fully contracted to their clubs who often play their top players almost whenever possible outside of international windows.

This leads to England’s top players playing a lot more minutes in a typical rugby season compared to their English and Welsh counterparts.

“Sometimes England want one thing and your club want something else,” Marler said in quotes from RTÉ Sport.

“Your club pay your wages so they’re the strong voice but you want to get picked by England.

“It’s difficult to manage without upsetting either party, so you either get caught up in the politics of it all or just go out and play.

“I look at the systems in Wales, Ireland or New Zealand with envy but senior people here say ‘too late, the ship has sailed’, and go back to the power of the clubs.

“Am I saying I know the right number of games? No, but I just know it should be less.

“I’d rather play fewer games per year, take less money and have a longer career. Just like I’d rather have a functioning body after rugby and less money, instead of more money and a hip replacement.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter