• Bok prop backs Harlequins teammate for Lions tour

    Springbok tighthead prop Wilco Louw says Harlequins teammate and England international Joe Marler should definitely be in contention for British & Irish Lions selection.

    Lions coach Warren Gatland is set to name his streamlined 36-man squad for the tour of South Africa on 6 May, less than three weeks away.

    Marler has been a key part of Harlequins’ charge to a top-four finish this season and is one of the form loosehead props in the Premiership.

    The 30-year-old faced the Springboks in the 2019 World Cup final and was previously part of Gatland’s Lions squad during their tour of New Zealand in 2017.

    Speaking to RugbyPass, Louw, who has personally experienced Marler’s performances, backed his teammate to make a play for the Lions squad.

    ‘The way Joe has been playing and performing this season, he will definitely be in the mix for the Lions,’ Louw said.

    ‘Joe is one of the best looseheads in the business and also one of the most destructive tacklers and he makes some big hits.

    ‘It is great being around him on the pitch, and off it he is a joker and I have learned so much from him. Joe is an incredible human being and I enjoy working with him and one of the big things I was most excited about coming here was to play with him.

    ‘Joe has helped me so much and back in South Africa in Super Rugby you play against the same opponents each year and you know their tricks. I don’t know the tricks of the trade of the guys over here and so Joe and Scott [Baldwin, Harlequins hooker] have been a massive help.’

    Photo: EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON