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England prop Marler out of second All Blacks Test

Joe Marler
Joe Marler made his England debut in 2012 [Getty Images]

England vice-captain Joe Marler will miss the second Test against New Zealand in Auckland with a foot injury.

The 95-cap prop went off in the early stages of the 16-15 defeat by the All Blacks in Dunedin.

Northampton’s uncapped Emmanuel Iyogun has been called up as a replacement and will arrive in New Zealand on Tuesday.

England face the All Blacks on Saturday at Eden Park (08:05 BST) as they look to square the two-match series.

“He doesn’t tend to come off unless something has happened,” England head coach Steve Borthwick said on Sunday.

“Fingers crossed it’s not too serious.”

Marler’s absence will mean a start for Harlequins team-mate Fin Baxter, who made his England debut in Dunedin, or Sale’s Bevan Rodd.

England are already without two other looseheads in the form of the injured Ellis Genge and the suspended Beno Obano, while Mako Vunipola has retired from international duty.

“We have two young men in Fin Baxter and Bevan Rodd who have a great opportunity now,” Borthwick added.

Borthwick said England will look to shore up their set-piece this week after the All Blacks edged the scrum battle in Dunedin.

“The best two scrums in the world are South Africa and New Zealand,” he explained.

“We rank just behind them. I think (scrum coach) Tom Harrison has done an excellent job and you saw Fin Baxter yesterday play 60 minutes on his Test debut.

“I thought he did really well. We will be better for that experience.

“They certainly had the better of the scrums; it is one of those areas we will address with the players.”

'We need to keep making Eden Park special'

England have now travelled north from Dunedin to Auckland as they prepare for the second Test.

While Borthwick’s side will be encouraged by large parts of Saturday’s opener, the concern is they have missed a big opportunity to win a Test in New Zealand for the first time in over two decades.

Not only are the All Blacks likely to be improved next week, but the hosts’ record at Eden Park is formidable, with no team victorious at the spiritual home of New Zealand rugby since France in 1994.

“We go into every game aiming to win the game,” added a defiant Borthwick.

“You never heard anyone in an England team saying now or never.

“We take care of our very next day, make sure we move forward every day, and that’s what we will do next week.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand boss Scott Robertson expects his side to be more attuned to the demands of international rugby after their first hit-out of the season.

“We will be Test match aware,” Robertson said on Sunday.

“We have got to refine a few things. Our job as coaches is to make sure we simplify things to make everyone think fast and act fast, and that’s when we are at our best.

“We have just got to get better. And Eden Park, we have to keep making it special.”

Robertson also expects England fly-half Marcus Smith to bounce back from his experiences in the first Test.

Smith showed his attacking prowess when setting up England’s second try, but missed a couple of crucial kicks from the tee.

“History shows [the value of] time on field, learning on your feet and learning a couple of lessons,” Robertson said.

“Marcus is a hell of a player. He will be better for last night.”