Joe Marler makes ‘greatest assist ever’ heading ball for England World Cup try

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    England star Joe Marler inadvertently produced his "greatest assist ever" in their Rugby World Cup clash with Japan.

    Steve Borthwick's side held a slender 13-12 lead in the second half at the Allianz Riviera in Nice when an attack looked to have broken down as a result of a knock on. George Ford's pass was fumbled by Will Stuart before it also bounced off Marler.

    The ball then landed kindly in front a free Courtney Lawes, who was allowed to carry on and put the ball down for a try thanks to a great on-field call by Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli.

    READ MORE: England Rugby World Cup star debuted weeks after ban for three-punch combo on team-mate

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    England's rugby team will be aiming for glory in France, with Umbro supplying their kits for the tournament. It is the first time that the supplier have been handed the chance to produce the kits, with a traditional white home shirt emblazoned with the iconic red rose.

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    Stuart's mis-timed touch had gone backwards onto the head of Marler, meaning it wasn't a knock-on. A TMO check confirmed all was well as the try was awarded.

    Co-commentating for ITV Sport, former England international Ben Kay said: "It comes backwards off that hand and hits Joe Marler's head. I think that's play on. That is Joe Marler's greatest ever assist."

    Have you ever seen the like on a rugby pitch? Let us know in the comments section.

    Fans lapped up the bizarre moment on social media, with one taking to X, formerly Twitter, and teasing: "Good header. Best thing Joe Marler has done in an England shirt [smirking face emoji]."

    Another exclaimed: "A Joe Marler header assist who would have thought [crying laughter emoji]." A third commented: "I’ll post something meaningful in a minute, still laughing at Joe Marler’s header."

    "Joe Marler's Mohawk, the playmaker England didn't know they needed," joked a fourth, while a fifth wrote: "Joe Marler headed that down like a 1970s Fourth Division centre forward."

    After Lawes' try, England went on to get over the line twice more with Freddie Steward and Joe Marchant getting on the scoresheet and securing a bonus point with a 34-12 victory.

    • Rugby World Cup
    • Rugby union

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