Marcus Smith ruled out of England’s Six Nations opener


Fly-half Marcus Smith is out of England’s opening match of the Guinness Six Nations after picking up a calf injury in their training camp in Girona.

The 24-year-old was flagged as a concern yesterday after being seen in crutches, and England coach Kevin Sinfield has confirmed his injury, although England are not yet sure on the extent of the injury.

England get their Six Nations campaign underway on Saturday against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, but will have to manage without Smith, who was tipped to step up in place of Owen Farrell this Championship.

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Sinfield said it is a “big loss”, but highlighted the players England have at their disposal who can step up and fill the fly-half position.

“He won’t make this weekend sadly,” Sinfield said, as reported by the Daily Mail.

“It is a calf injury. We got the scan report but we’re waiting for a second opinion on the scan. We will know more then.

“It was just in training, in the early part of the session. It’s just one of those things.

“The boys have had two days off and Marcus – being the bundle of energy that he is – was doing his thing. Unfortunately, these things happen. We are gutted for him and we hope it won’t be too long.’

“He’s an outstanding guy who I have absolutely loved working with, but what that does is provide opportunities for others. We have said it since I have been working with England that we are blessed with the 10s that we have got.

“Fin Smith’s been in camp before, his form has been outstanding for Northampton and he’s trained great too. Without giving too much away, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where that might leave us.

“We have got Fin and George (Ford) who has 91 caps, so he’s got that experience and there’s a young gun who has been in top, top form. We’re still in a very, very good position.’

“Henry Slade has done it before, George Furbank has done it before and done a great job. I think he has done it this year for Northampton. We have got a couple of guys in there already who can, certainly in the short term, cover us.”





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