Joe Marler's simple response to criticism from England women's legend
By Rugby Onslaught

Joe Marler’s simple response to criticism from England women’s legend

One of the criticisms that England have received this past month (one of many) is that they are unfit, or at least more unfit that their opponents.

That was clearest in the first warm-up against Wales, where Steve Borthwick’s side seriously petered out of the match in the final 20 minutes.

Many fans and pundits have highlighted this over the past few weeks, and it looks like the England team are now taking exception to this point of view. Loosehead Joe Marler is one that has recently bitten back at such comments online.

Former England women’s World Cup winner and now pundit, Maggie Alphonsi, was one who commented on this lack of fitness during England’s loss to Ireland in Dublin on Saturday. Alphonsi wrote on X: “England look unfit and off the pace. Billy Vunipola is struggling. Move Earl to 8 and put Willis at 7.”

Marler retorted this week with a simple post, sharing a yawning and sleeping emoji. This response from the Harlequin is usually reserved for Sir Clive Woodward’s criticism of the England team, but it is quite a simple message- he and his teammates are tired of this criticism.

Now if someone has picked up on your team’s lack of fitness, sleeping and yawning emojis might not necessarily be the wisest choice. More importantly though, this response from Marler suggests plenty of people have already mentioned England’s lack of fitness, which might mean the likes of Alphonsi are onto something.

England face Fiji this Saturday at Twickenham in their final World Cup warm-up and their final chance to gel before they leave for France. Borthwick’s side get their World Cup campaign underway against Argentina, where they will be without both captain Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola after the pair were suspended this week following high tackles against Wales and Ireland, respectively.