The England front-rower on pastries, panic attacks and parenting

RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the England squad?

JOE MARLER: Manu (Tuilagi) is silent but deadly. And cheeky little Danny Care.

RW: Can you tell us about any pranks?

JM: No! I’m not allowed to disclose info like that.

RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?

JM: I would. I’m quite good at ‘am dram’ and I’d like to think I could make the step up.

RW: Do you have any nicknames?

JM: Croissant, because the boys think I have a nose that looks like a French pastry. And Quasi Marler, you can guess why.

RW: How are you finding fatherhood?

JM: I don’t suppose you get graded on it? But, it’s the best job in the world. The pay could be better, mind you.

I get a bit less sleep and have less money, but my partner Daisy does most of the work. My son Jasper is seven months; he’s crawling around, getting fat. He’s taken after his m… no, his dad!

RW: What three things would you take to a desert island?

JM: Rufio, my dog. I’ve got two black labradors. Kozie, the other one, is nine now and she’s had a good innings, so I wouldn’t take her.

I’d take Jasper, too. He’d be a good laugh. And a kitchen knife.

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RW: Who’d be your three dream dinner party guests – alive or dead?

JM: Just Nelson Mandela (above with Jake White and John Smit after South Africa’s RWC 2007 win), because I do a good impression and I’d want his opinion. But I don’t like people, so there wouldn’t be a dinner party. I’d just call him and get him to listen to my impression.

RW: What’s your favourite cheat meal?

JM: Every meal’s a cheat meal, look at this figure! No, I like a Chinese takeaway. This is making me hungry.

RW: What’s been your silliest purchase?

JM: Loads of different door knobs, for the cupboards in our house. They were ridiculously expensive and they’re just door knobs.

RW: Does Daisy wear the trousers?

JM: Sometimes. Sometimes skirts, sometimes shorts…

RW: Do you have any superstitious?

JM: I used to walk out of the changing room last, but that’s ended this season. It wasn’t a very good superstition.

RW: Do you have any hidden talents?

JM: Lots, all rude.

RW: What are your phobias?

JM: I’m claustrophobic. I went for an MRI scan on my shoulder and it lasted 30 seconds before I pressed the buzzer and had a panic attack. I was sent to London to the fat person’s extra large scanner, which was okay.

RW: What’s been your best holiday?

JM: Kefalonia, our first family holiday. Jasper was good as gold; he’s been a dream.

RW: If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

JM: To fly, to go back to that desert island.

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RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

JM: To be a good dad. Family comes first – everything revolves around that. We’ll probably have more children, more dogs, more ducks… we’ll be living on an ark by the end of it.

RW: Which of your team-mates would you like to be?

JM: None of them.

RW: What last made you laugh?

JM: George Robson falling over in the tunnel at Toulon.

RW: It was ages ago!

JM: But I watch it on YouTube every week!

RW: How’d you like to be remembered?

JM: I’m not bothered. I do care what people think of me, but only the people that matter.

This interview was published in the December 2014 edition of Rugby World. Click here for the latest subscription offers.