England loose-head prop Joe Marler has signed a contract extension with Premiership club Harlequins.
The 29-year-old, who has also won two British & Irish Lions caps as well as his 71 appearances for England, came through Quins’ academy.
“I am a Harlequin, and I love the club,” said Marler.
“I’m immensely proud to have played for Quins over 200 times so far. I cannot wait for my next opportunity to pull on the jersey.”
Eastbourne-born Marler was part of their Premiership title winning team in 2012, the same year he won his first England cap.
“Growing up with Harlequins as my boyhood team, I remember getting thrown out of The Stoop as a fan when I was 12 because I had tried to run on the pitch,” he added.
“Now I get the chance to continue my journey with great friends, team-mates, coaches, and fans, without getting thrown out (again)… yet!”
Marler available after ban
Marler was reported to be considering whether to retire from the game in March when he received a 10-week ban for grabbing Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals in England’s Six Nations win against Wales at Twickenham.
But the coronavirus pandemic has now wiped out that suspension leaving Marler free to resume immediately if the season resumes on a target date of 15 August.
“Joe’s infectious personality off the field is as large as his presence on it,” said Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard.
“And he is, without doubt, one of the best props in world rugby; and arguably the very best scrummaging loose-head prop in the modern era.
“It is vital in the Premiership to have strong set-piece fundamentals. Securing Joe’s future allows us to build a formidable front row with hookers like Elia Elia and Scott Baldwin allied with our new signing, the ginormous, destructive tight-head prop Wilco Louw, which gives us real presence in the tight five.”
Marler initially retired from international rugby in 2018, only to be tempted to return by England boss Eddie Jones nine months later to become part of his 2019 World Cup squad.