Having captained England U18 and represented the country’s U20 side as well, Joe Marler looked set toone day take the field for the senior side. That eventuality finally transpired in June of 2012 when the young loosehead was given a baptism of fire; a start against the mighty Springboks in Durban.
Marler, then just 22, was handed the unenviable task of packing down against the tenacious World Cup winner Jannie du Plessis; a prospect which would no doubt send shivers down the spine of most uninitiated front-rowers, however, Marler put forward a spirited effort, his peroxided mohawk never seen far from the action.
What he lacked at scrum time against his vastly more experienced opponent, he more than made up for in other facets of the game with superbly energetic tackling and volunteering strong carries up to the rushing green defensive line far more than any other forward.
To date, Marler has 66 caps for England and 2 for the British & Irish Lions.