Too much rugby? No, I want to play more says Marchant



John Kingston might think Joe Marchant has played too much rugby this season, but the young Harlequins centre is desperate for two more games to cap his sensational breakthrough year.

Marchant, 20, showed signs of his precocious talent towards the end of last season, with eight first team appearances before playing a starring role with England U20s as they won the Junior World Championship.

He kicked off this season with a try-scoring display from outside centre against Bristol at Twickenham and has never looked back, ending the campaign with an impressive 28 games and 1,949 minutes under his belt.

Director of rugby Kingston admitted after another try-scoring performance against Wasps two weeks ago that he had not planned to use Marchant so much this season but as he simply put it: “The kid just keeps getting better and better.”

Marchant was nominated for the RPA’s Young Player of the Year – won by Bath No.8 Zach Merecer – and is now in line for his Test debut after Eddie Jones named him in his England squad for the two-Test tour to Argentina.

“It WOULD be great to make my Test debut in Argentina to end what’s been an amazing first full season in the Premiership,” Marchant told The Rugby Paper.

“It might catch up with me later but I’m delighted I played so much this season. We spoke about my game time briefly with John but I was just happy to be playing.

“Being young I was keen to take every chance I had to get on the pitch. I wanted to get a lot of game time at the start of the season. That’s what I got and I’ve improved a lot as a player from playing so much.

“The coaches have managed me very well in training to make sure, even if I was playing every weekend with short turnaround at times, my body wasn’t overworked.

“And I spent a lot of time on Netflix during my days off to make the most of my recovery periods.

“Hopefully I’ve got two more games this season but I’m just looking forward to getting in the England camp and enjoying myself with a lot of young guys I used to play with at age group levels.”

Marchant’s contribution this season ended with a crucial try in Northampton last week which salvaged the losing bonus-point to ensure Quins’ celebrated their 150th anniversary by returning to the Champions Cup for the first time in three years.

Marchant added: “It was a strange game at the weekend because we lost but we qualified for the Champions Cup. It was such a big season for the club and you could tell it was because of all the events happening throughout the year.

“We really wanted to break back into that top six to mark the club’s anniversary, especially after we got knocked out of the Challenge and Anglo-Welsh Cups.

“We’ll be in the best European competitions next season and we’re looking forward to taking on some of the best teams in Europe.”

NICK VERDIER

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