Rugby Union

England's Joe Marler posts TikTok comparing his assist to Ronaldo goal

Just like Ronaldo! England star Joe Marler posts hilarious TikTok comparing his accidental assist in Japan World Cup win to Cristiano’s famous soaring header for Juventus

  • England secured a scratchy 34-12 victory over Japan in the Rugby World Cup 
  • Joe Marler has long been outspoken about removing taboos over mental health 
  • Rugby World Cup 2023: Click here for Mail Sport’s latest coverage from France 
  • Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results

Joe Marler has posted a tongue-in-cheek TikTok after his unwitting involvement in England’s second try of the game against Japan on Sunday, comparing himself to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Steve Borthwick’s side made it two wins from two against the Brave Blossoms in Nice, eventually finishing 34-12 winners. 

It was however a scoreline that did not tell the full story, with England constantly stymied by handling errors and a tendency to kick on a regular basis, despite Japan largely soaking up their attempts with ease. 

With England only 13-12 to the good, Marler played a key role in assisting Courtney Lawes’ score, with George Ford’s pass flying through Will Stuart’s hands and cannoning forward off the prop’s head. 

The deflection put Lawes clean through a few yards out who duly dotted down, with the referee unable to award a Japan scrum for a knock-on if the ball comes off a player’s head. 

England star Joe Marler compared himself to Cristiano Ronaldo in a hilarious TikTok

Marler’s headed intervention put Courtney Lawes clean through to score England’s second try

A goal is a goal #rugbyworldcup #rugby #header #rugby

Marler was quick to make light of his part in the score, jokingly comparing his ‘header’ to the famous goal scored by Ronaldo for Juventus against Sampdoria. 

He posted a video with his own face superimposed onto that of Ronaldo, with the caption: ‘A goal is a goal’. 

The Portuguese football star leapt a staggering 2.56m in the air, hanging for around 1.5s to hand Juventus the lead and ultimately the three points against Sampdoria. 

The England prop then continued the football analogies, claiming that he had prepared for the game by practicing headers with Jamie George and Dan Cole.

‘I take huge inspiration from Roberto De Zerbi and his mighty Seagulls doing a demolition job on United yesterday.’ he added. ‘Just taking huge inspiration from them and finding a way to help the boys score.

Brighton handed Manchester United a bruising 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, with boos greeting some of Erik ten Hag’s calls after a dismal performance against the South Coast outfit. 

Marler’s head has caught the eye regularly throughout his career, with the veteran prop often sporting colourful hair-dos. 

As well as mohicans, he once notably had a friend’s hog-roast business advertised in his hair. 

The 33-year-old’s eye-catching mohicans have grabbed the attention throughout his career

Match referee Nika Amashukeli was unable to call a knock-on as the ball went forward off the prop’s head

The prop’s work in removing taboos around mental health discussions are almost unparalleled in rugby, with the 33-year-old previously revealing his own battles in an interview with Mail Sport.

‘Rugby is such a macho, alpha-male dominated sport and you don’t want to expose yourself. You don’t want people thinking, “This bloke’s weak as p*ss, he talks about his feelings, he’ll crumble, let’s get into him”.

‘I didn’t want my struggles with mental health to provide the opposition with an advantage. After that game, there was this worry that I could be exposed, so I tried to become this fake tough guy.

‘I made a thing out of telling people to p*ss off. The scary haircuts and everything else were just part of this persona of, “F**k you lot, I’m all right, I don’t cry, I don’t kiss or cuddle”.’

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