Joe Marler gives England boss Eddie Jones injury headache as he misses training ahead of Rugby World Cup opener – The Sun

JOE MARLER handed England a World Cup scare as he missed their crunch training session before the Tonga game.

Boss Eddie Jones is already without crocked first-choice prop Mako Vunipola, so can't afford to be without Marler on Sunday.

But it is understood that the Harlequins star didn't train fully with the rest of his teammates in Sapporo this afternoon, during their biggest session of the week.

Marler also wasn't involved when England's forwards did shuttle runs as they warmed-up for their final hit-out before the team is named.

It is not totally uncommon for players to be put on their own training plans and England will hope to have Marler to name in their 23-man match-day squad.

They should still have no problems dispatching tier two nation Tonga on Sunday night and then take on the USA just four days later for another walk in the park.

And defence coach John Mitchell has urged his side to set the tone and win with style.


The Kiwi said: "What is important for us is to get the right performance and clearly win.

"Getting the right performance is that our strengths come out and we feel good about ourselves at the start of the tournament. We are extremely excited.

"What we are witnessing day by day is the boys are really enjoying everyone’s company, they are getting the right balance in and around training.

"We have prepared strongly for this tournament and prepared strongly for Tonga.

"We recognise our opponent, what they bring and, emotively, what it means to them. We are looking forward to it."

And second-row Joe Launchbury added: "Their pool of players is getting stronger and stronger.

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"The leagues they play in means we’re getting more footage on them, and we get to play against and with them in some cases.

"Our depth of knowledge and understanding of how they play has certainly grown and it’s maybe a bit easier.

"The stuff we’ve managed to watch this week leading up to the game will hopefully give us a good understanding, coupled with the fact that they’ve had a few games, recently so we’ve had a chance to have a really good look at them."

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