Joe Marler has humorously compared himself to Cristiano Ronaldo after unintentionally providing a headed assist for a peculiar England try during the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The charismatic prop from Harlequins is known for his ability to draw attention, and he managed to do just that during England’s match against Japan in Nice.
With England holding a narrow 13-12 lead, a pass from George Ford slipped through Will Stuart’s hands and unexpectedly bounced off Marler’s head.
Remarkably, the ball fell favourably into the path of England’s captain, Courtney Lawes, who subsequently scored a try. The match officials had to confirm the try following a TMO (Television Match Official) review, as a knock-on is not called if the ball hits a player’s head.
Marler has taken great delight in his impromptu Ronaldo impression, comparing his accidental header to the one delivered by the superstar from the world of football during his days at Juventus.
Alongside a video of his face superimposed onto Ronaldo’s body, Marler posted on TikTok: “A goal is a goal.”
Eastbourne native Marler also claims to have been inspired by Brighton’s efforts in the Premier League this season, following their 3-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday, telling Sky Sports: “I take huge inspiration from Roberto De Zerbi and his mighty Seagulls doing a demolition job on United. Just taking huge inspiration from them and finding a way to help the boys score.”