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South Africa tour 2012 / News
England Rugby
Marler: No excuses for England
ESPN Staff
November 2, 2012
England's Joe Marler reflects on the draw, South Africa v England, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, June 23, 2012
Joe Marler says England's honeymoon period is over © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Joe Marler

Joe Marler admits the honeymoon is over for England and there will be no excuses for Stuart Lancaster's squad in the autumn internationals.

Since taking over as interim head coach, and subsequently being appointed to the full-time role, Lancaster has introduced a host of young players, including Marler, into the international arena.

Lancaster's young squad enjoyed a promising start by finishing second in last season's Six Nations but received a painful reality check over the summer with a physical tour of South Africa, which ended in a 2-0 series defeat.

Marler earned his first three caps on the tour of South Africa and is set to continue at loose-head prop in the continued absence of Alex Corbisiero for England's matches against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. And the Harlequins prop is aware England must deliver this autumn, starting with Fiji on November 10.

"I haven't got the excuse of being the uncapped guy in the squad and not knowing what to do," Marler told The Rugby Paper. "November will be tough and another step up with all three Southern Hemisphere sides and Fiji who have some big boys in there as well, so I'll look forward to that.

"No one can use that excuse of not knowing international rugby anymore because the majority have been capped. We've had our honeymoon period, we worked really hard in June but we were a relatively new squad. We had done pretty well in the Six Nations, worked hard for each other and the culture changed and we did the same in South Africa.

"They outclassed us. Going over there and winning is a hard thing to do but now they come over here so this is our chance to establish ourselves as a better team. "It was great in South Africa. I really enjoyed it. It was a great learning experience and a great country.

"I was buzzing to achieve a dream I've had for a while. I'm looking to kick on now, there is plenty of competition and there are plenty of England games between now and the next World Cup and I want to play in as many of those as I can."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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