In a bid to get his career back on track after two high-profile suspensions last month, the 25-year-old has been working with former England Test cricketer Jeremy Snape.
Breaking his silence in an interview with The Sunday Times, Marler admitted things had ‘gone too far’ when he had an urge to ‘kick the s***’ out of the changing-room shower.
Speaking about the hearing for striking Grenoble hooker Arnaud Heguy, the front row said: ‘I just told the panel, “Look, I kicked him, I kicked out and did wrong. I am not going to try to put it any other way”.
‘I told them that I recognised I needed help and that I was getting help, and whatever they gave me was fine. It was a question of continuing to tell everyone to f*** off, or go away myself and crawl under a rock.’
Marler (below) has been the subject of vitriol on social media since the racist slur on Lee that resulted in the first of his two-week bans.
On his return to Harlequins in the Challenge Cup semi-final, he took just 26 minutes to boil over.
‘It was not just that one incident,’ said Marler. ‘In the first half I had lost it completely. You can see me running round as if I’m looking for something. At half-time I ignored everyone and went straight into the shower on my own.
‘There was nothing in my head, I couldn’t focus on anything. All I wanted to do was rip that bar off the shower and kick the s*** out of it. I felt like a petulant teenager.
‘After I took a few deep breaths I realised that either I keep thinking the whole world is against me and everything I do, or the reality that the spotlight is on me but it is nothing like as bad as I think.
‘The damage had already been done in the match, though.’
New Quins director of rugby John Kingston, who takes over from Conor O’Shea this summer, wants a sports psychologist as the club’s next appointment. But Marler took it upon himself to contact Snape after the Grenoble incident in an attempt to avoid further damage.
‘During the last Six Nations I spoke to Jeremy,’ said Marler. ‘I said, “Mate, you seem a very nice bloke but I really do not see the point of psychology”. Then I had to ring him back and ask if we could have a chat.
‘We are just seeing how it goes, then we’ll make a decision on whether I need to see someone with a clinical background as well.
‘I know I have to make a change. I do play better when I am on edge, and sometimes you just have to try to be polite to people. But I have to get a grip on that balance. I know that things have gone too far.’
Quins chief O’Shea believes Marler is being singled out by referees. ‘He knows what he did wasn’t right and he has been through a tough time,’ said O’Shea. ‘But I would like people to protect him. If he’s cited for what he did (against Grenoble), I would like the head-butt on Joe cited, too.
‘He is 25 and learning a lot. There is a perception of what he is, which is so far from the truth. This club will support him. Quins and England are lucky to have him.
‘He knows there are things he can’t do but I would like perspective. People need to look at things that are done to him on the pitch and start citing those.’ – Daily Mail
Original source: England’s Marler to see shrink