Nick Evans has urged Marcus Smith to remain patient in his pursuit of a first international cap for England.
The former Harlequins fly-half was speaking to Sky Sports about his successor at the south-west London club and admitted he sympathises with Smith over not yet getting an opportunity for his country.
Smith played for an England XV against the Barbarians in 2019, scoring 26 points and a try in a man-of-the-match performance, but has yet to win a full international cap.
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The Harlequins play-maker is in exceptional form for his club and is currently the Gallagher Premiership’s top points scorer for the 2020/21 season.
However, Smith has failed to get into an English match-day squad due to the ever-present Owen Farrell and George Ford, despite his impressive performances at club level.
‘Sometimes you’re just not flavour of the month’
Evans, a Harlequins club legend, urged the 22-year-old to remain patient and continue putting in man-of-the-match displays for his club.
“Marcus is playing well and that’s all you can do. Sometimes you’re just not flavour of the month, I’ve been in that situation,” Evans said.
“He’s got to concentrate on playing well for us. If the team does well, he does well and then you’re in the shop window, putting pressure on and forcing them to look at you. Hopefully he’ll get his reward sooner rather than later.
“It was another good performance from Marcus [against Sale Sharks]. The ceiling is so high with him. He didn’t influence the game as much as he’d have liked in the second half but that happens.
“He will get it wrong, like any 10, but it’s all learning and this was another step in the right direction.”
While Smith has plenty of time to break into the England squad, his impressive performances at club level over the last four seasons have gone largely unnoticed by Eddie Jones.
With Farrell and Ford 29 and 27 years old respectively, the Harlequins number 10 may still have some time to wait before he gets an opportunity in an England shirt.