Eddie Jones gives his thoughts on Marcus Smith ahead of England’s July tests

Eddie Jones Marcus Smith

“He has really benefited from increased ruck speed.”

Eddie Jones has acknowledged that Marcus Smith is “getting a nice balance” in his game ahead of England’s tests against the USA and Canada next month.

Harlequins fly-half Smith has been in excellent form for his club this season and has played a crucial role in the south-west London club qualifying for the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals for the first time in seven years.

Jones was speaking to RugbyPass ahead of next week’s England squad announcement and was pleased by the 22-year-old’s development over the last year.

Eddie Jones: Marcus Smith’s development is really positive.

“He has really benefited from increased ruck speed. What we are seeing from him is more like when he played at Brighton College,” Jones said.

“I remember watching him in 2015 at Brighton College where when there was something on he took it and maybe for a period of time he was more likely to be a pattern player.

“He is getting a nice balance in his game between understanding the responsibilities of getting the team organised but then playing what is in front of him and his development is really positive.”

Marcus Smith’s career to date.

Smith first burst onto the scene with Harlequins as an 18-year-old in 2017, and has already amassed over 108 appearances for the club at the age of 22.

Despite frequent calls for him to be capped for England, Smith has yet to play in a test match for his country.

The maverick fly-half did play for England in June 2019 against the Barbarians in an uncapped exhibition match, but he is yet to feature in any of Eddie Jones’s sides since then.

Smith was reportedly on Warren Gatland’s long-list of players for this year’s British and Irish Lions squad, but the youngster was not named in the official 37-man squad.

Jones is expected to name experimental sides against the USA and Canada this summer in the absence of many of his starting players, which could represent a prime opportunity for Smith to win his first cap for his country.

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