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Scotland v England
Marler not concerned by mud bath
ESPN Staff
February 6, 2014
Joe Marler starts again for England against Scotland © PA Photos
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England's Joe Marler is comfortable with playing on the quickly deteriorating Murrayfield surface as long as there is no glass in the turf.

Much has been made of the poor state of Scotland's pitch in the run-up to Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with the turf currently suffering from a parasite infection. The ground cut up badly during the autumn internationals and Edinburgh have also experienced the poor surface during their home matches.

While England have refused to criticise the poor turf but rain is expected for Saturday's match with the surface likely to deteriorate into a mud bath.

Scrummaging could be particularly problematic, but past experiences - notably at Bristol club Dings Crusaders - have left Marler, who starts at loose-head for England, nonchalant as he prepares to lock horns with the Scots' front row.

"At Dings Crusaders the pitch was full of sand, pebbles, glass.....hopefully Murrayfield won't be as bad as that!" Marler said. "There are quite a few pitches out there that are like that. It's the same for both teams.

"The pitch is not something we've spoken too much about. We know the pitch will probably be terrible and so will the conditions, but you just get on with it as it affects both sides."

England fell to a 26-24 defeat to France in their Six Nations opener and anything less than a win over Scotland on Saturday would probably spell the end to their title hopes.

"We can't afford to lose any more games now if we want to be in it at the end, and we almost certainly don't want to be nearly men," Marler said. "It's all well and good playing well, but the idea is to win the game. You can play well but lose all the games in the season.

"You don't want people saying, 'Oh, but you played quite well'. We want to win stuff, that's why we're here. It annoys me a little bit when people do that. I just ignore them and get on with it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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