Sunday’s Aviva Premiership contest between Wasps and Harlequins was memorable for more than the visitors’ 24-21 victory. It also gave us the scene where England teammates Joe Marler and James Haskell got into a seriously heated tangle.
Midway through the first half, the pair became involved in a scuffle that saw Marler grab his compatriot’s scrum cap. Taking exception to the prop’s interference with his headgear, Haskell embraced the red mist and wrestled the Quins prop to the floor.
There, the pair continued their altercation, with Marler refusing to release Haskell’s cap, while the latter stuffing a forearm into the face of the former.
The incident was quickly broken up by the pair’s respective teammates, though as Haskell went to retrieve his scrum cap, Marler cheekily squirted water on his international teammate, seemingly in a bid to push a few more buttons.
Queue more red mist as the flanker grabbed Marler by the throat, before once again being separated by teammates.
It was a tense moment between the England and British and Irish Lions teammates and one that saw Haskell enjoy ten minutes in the sin bin.
Such was nature and intensity of the incident, you would be forgiven for thinking that this could be a bone of contention for the pair in the future and perhaps even when on international duty together.
As is the way with rugby, however, the argy-bargy and hands-on physicality of the incident was quickly forgotten as following the contest, Haskell and Marler were seen to embrace as colleagues once more.
— EatSleepRugby (@eatsleeprugby) September 18, 2017
What a touch of class between the pair.