Owen Farrell’s return from suspension means Smith plays at full-back, where 24-year-old still hopes to wield influence
Wherever England have hosted a press conference in Lille this week the local police have been training sniffer dogs just outside and you cannot help but feel there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. These young pups are being taught to sharpen their senses, to hone their instincts and, whether you see the merits in England’s death-by-a-thousand-kicks approach or not, a few similar lessons for Steve Borthwick’s side would not go amiss.
Which brings us on to Marcus Smith – England’s most instinctive youngster – and his selection at full-back against Chile on Saturday. There are two ways to look at Borthwick’s decision to hand Smith a first start in the No 15 jersey after only three, albeit impressive, cameos from the bench. Firstly, as a thanks for coming. A start in a match England are fully expected to win comfortably, for which Borthwick has made 12 changes and, for all the sense of anticipation it brings, an acknowledgment that the only way Smith gets a look-in at fly-half for the remainder of the tournament is through injury or suspension elsewhere.
Written by Gerard Meagher in Lille
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/sep/22/start-for-marcus-smith-against-chile-is-no-guarantee-for-rest-of-world-cup under the title “Start for Marcus Smith against Chile is no guarantee for rest of World Cup”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.