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‘B*****k naked!’ Dan Biggar’s dressing room moment with Joe Marler and the Welsh kids who swore at Mike Brown

It’s probably fair to say Joe Marler hasn’t always been flavour of the month on the western side of the River Severn.

Rewind to his on-pitch grabbing of Alun Wyn Jones’ nether regions during the England v Wales match at Twickenham last March, after which ex-Wales skipper Gwyn Jones labelled him an “ egotistical narcissist ”.

Then there was the furore over Marler’s ‘Gypsy boy’ comment to Samson Lee in 2016.

A year earlier, the prop had shown why he hadn’t ended up in the Diplomatic Service, after all, by tweeting on the weekend of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, with England already bundled out of their own tournament: “I would like to wish all the northern hemisphere sides in the World Cup quarters massive good luck…but I can’t and I won’t.”

There’s 80 million people Joe didn’t get a card from that Christmas.

That he does things his way is not in doubt.

And some — not all, it needs to be stressed — do see him as a character.

The latest tale underlining that he does things differently surfaces in an entertaining piece on the MailOnline website, with Dan Biggar and Mike Brown comparing notes about all things Anglo-Welsh ahead of the Wales v England Six Nations encounter in Cardiff on Saturday.

Both agree that away from the Test arena they see Test opponents and others from rival countries in a different light, with Brown offering Jamie Roberts and Adam Jones as examples of Welsh players he got to know after they joined Harlequins.

Biggar says: “On the Lions tour, I spent more time with the English guys than anyone else. I remember our warm-up game against England before the 2019 World Cup.

“Jarrod Evans wanted to swap shirts with Owen Farrell, so I took him into the changing room after the match. Joe Marler just walked over with no clothes on and gave me a big hug, b*****k naked!

“Once you get into the changing room, you all get on.”

Brown quipped: “That means Joe likes you.”


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The coronavirus pandemic has ensured there will be no fans inside the ground for the match this weekend, denying the occasion its usual atmosphere.

Under normal circumstances, the matchday bus trip to Twickenham for Welsh players and to the Principality Stadium for their England counterparts could not be more different.



Dan Biggar (left) and Mike Brown share a moment

In response to Biggar telling how it is when the Welsh coach heads for HQ, with packed lunches and picnic blankets out for home supporters, Brown tells of the English experience journeying into Cardiff when he was part of the side.

“We’d get grannies head-butting the bus and six-year-olds sticking up the middle finger at us,” he says, while insisting Wales was his favourite away trip.

“It was the most passionate crowd I ever played in front of. I copped loads of abuse, but I loved it.”

Biggar also relates how Warren Gatland changed the Welsh mindset when he came in, giving players the belief that they were going to beat England rather than simply hoping they might sneak a result at the end.

“There was a huge shift in mentality,” he says. “Gats would put subtle messaging around the team room on the week of the England game. He found a way of giving the boys confidence.”

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