Marcus Smith ready to combine with Owen Farrell to chase victory in Australia

Eddie Jones is likely to entrust Smith and Farrell with the keys to England’s attack in the series opener

Marcus Smith (left) and Owen Farrell are likely to start together against Australia (Mike Egerton/PA)
Marcus Smith (left) and Owen Farrell are likely to start together against Australia (Mike Egerton/PA)

Marcus Smith insists he is ready to unite with Owen Farrell as England’s twin playmakers look to channel their competitive spirits against Australia.

Eddie Jones is likely to entrust Smith and Farrell with the keys to England’s attack in the series opener at Perth’s Optus Stadium just three weeks after they clashed in the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals.

Farrell’s Saracens were triumphant that day, but he is likely to be moved from his preferred position at fly-half to inside centre to accommodate Smith, who has been Jones’ first choice in the position.

It was a creative axis seen only for 68 minutes against the Wallabies in the autumn and while it showed promise, successive ankle injuries affected Farrell’s season.

Now working in tandem as part of England’s squad that will clash with Australia over three Tests beginning on July 2, Smith is enjoying the chance join forces once again.

“Owen’s a brilliant player. I loved playing with him in the autumn,” Harlequins outside-half Smith said.

Unless England throw a curve ball in selection, Marcus Smith will start the first Test at fly-half (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He’s a massive competitor and wears his heart on his sleeve. More than that, he’s got brilliant vision and skills at the line.

“We trained together a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I’ve loved learning off him and bouncing ideas off him.

“We complement each other nicely – we both see the game pretty similarly. I hope we can both come together and get the best out of each other.

“Hopefully I can be there to get the best out of him and allow him to show his skills on the park. Hopefully he can also allow me to show the best of me.

“If we can do that together and continue to build our relationship off the field, I think it will lead to good results and days on the field.

“Hopefully we can put our competitive edge together to try and get a Test series win. Both of us want to do that. We’ve spoken long and hard about it.”

Smith, 23, is embarking on his first senior England tour a year after breaking into the team and despite his rookie status, he understands what is at stake against the Wallabies.

“The England and Australia rivalry is obviously huge, not just in rugby but in cricket and all other sports,” Smith said.

“My dad instilled in me as a young kid that there is a lot of rivalry and confrontation in those games.

“I remember when I was younger in the Philippines, my grandparents lived in England.

“We grew up in the Philippines and my step grandad actually flew over from England to watch the Ashes.

“He watched all five Test matches in a pub called The Heckle and Jeckle in Manila. I don’t know what my dad was doing, but he was missing work to watch it too with the time zone!

“It’s been instilled in me and my two younger brothers for a long time. Mum has had to buy in as well! It’s one of those rivalries you want to be a part of.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in