Injury scare for England as Marcus Smith leaves training on crutches

England playmaker Marcus Smith was seen leaving training on crutches on Monday and will have a scan overnight to confirm his injury status.

This comes just days away from England’s opening Six Nations matchup against Italy in Rome.

Smith’s potential unavailability for the Test would hit especially hard with the absence of Owen Farrell already a factor for the England squad.

The 24-year-old Harlequins fly-half would join an injury list that already includes Manu Tuilagi and Ollie Lawrence in the backline.

“If he is not [fit] it would definitely be a blow,” England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth told reporters after the training.

“It wasn’t a big incident, that’s why I was hoping it was nothing much. He was just jogging, but he pulled up and happened to be right next to a physio when he did it by the sideline.”

George Ford would be the experienced option remaining for Steve Borthwick, while there’s potential for a debut for young Fin Smith. Ford’s health isn’t guaranteed either though, having missed Sale’s trip to South Africa earlier in the month after receiving injections in his knee.

“He’s fully operational,” added Wigglesworth. “I spoke to him and [stopping kicking for Sale] was just that bit of knee pain that was affecting his kicking on the snap right at the very end.”

Northampton’s form under Fin Smith’s guidance has England fans optimistic, and Borthwick might just buy into that excitement as well, with just three days until the team to face Italy is named.

“Fin is that sort of character who is very keen to improve,” said Wigglesworth.

“He’s got a winning mentality, a winning edge to him. I really like that he’s driven that team forward at Northampton and he’s made a big difference to them. He’s a very impressive young man in terms of how he has got good opinions on the attack, good solutions for people – he’s proactive and already offering that [at 21]. I very much want him to do that.”


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