Marcus Smith to miss round two versus Wales

England out-half Marcus Smith has officially been ruled out of next weekend’s Guinness Six Nations round two match versus Wales at Twickenham.

The Harlequins No10 finished national team training last Monday in Girona on crutches having picked up the calf injury that ultimately made him unavailable for round one selection against Italy.

Instead of flying to Rome from Spain last Thursday with Steve Borthwick’s squad, Smith headed back to England for treatment and a Sunday evening squad update has now confirmed he won’t be involved against the Welsh next Saturday.

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No information was provided as to the extent of the injury and what the anticipated lay-off will now be, but his continued absence means the out-half position versus Wales will again be contested by George Ford, who started at Stadio Olimpico, and Fin Smith, who came off the bench in the closing stages to make his Test debut in the 27-24 win.

Oscar Beard, who was originally named in England’s Six Nations squad for their Girona camp, will take Smith’s place having completed his return to play protocols following a recent club game concussion. The 22-year-old had dropped out of the official squad on January 24, but still travelled to Spain to complete his rehabilitation.

Other than Beard stepping in for Smith, the 36-strong match-week squad that Borthwick has assembled at Pennyhill Park is the same that he had with him this past week in Spain and Italy.

The expectation is that Ellis Genge, who cried off the Rome bench with a foot injury, will be available for selection. However, the fixture against Wales will come too soon for George Martin.

On Saturday evening in Rome, Borthwick suggested that the Leicester forward could be available following his recent injury. However, instead of being ready for selection, he will continue his rehab this week with England as their 37th man.

A statement read: “36 players have assembled at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre at Pennyhill Park to prepare for England’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 10 (kick-off: 4.45pm).

“Forwards (20):
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons)
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins)
Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
Theo Dan (Saracens)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby)
Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints)
Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

“Backs (16):
Oscar Beard (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs)
George Ford (Sale Sharks)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
Will Muir (Bath Rugby)
Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints)
Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)

“George Martin (Leicester Tigers) will join up with the squad to continue his rehabilitation from injury.”


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