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Kevin Sinfield praises Marcus Smith for adding energy to England training.
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Kevin Sinfield praises Marcus Smith for adding energy to England training.

Marcus Smith’s recognizable “energy” has been commended for revitalizing the England team. With Fin Smith’s potential absence for the Six Nations game against Ireland, Marcus is expected to make a comeback on Saturday.

Marcus Smith, the fly-half for Harlequins, was unable to participate in England’s first three matches due to a calf injury. However, he has since recovered and with another player, Fin, also suffering from a calf injury, it seems likely that Marcus will be selected for the squad against Ireland.

It is possible that George Furbank could also play at fly-half, but it seems more likely that Marcus Smith and George Ford are competing for the starting No. 10 position if Fin Smith is unable to play. Fin Smith, a 21-year-old who has come off the bench in games against Italy and Wales, has not been able to train since last week and may have a low chance of playing at Twickenham.

Despite being unable to play for England since the World Cup, Marcus Smith has taken on a leadership role, especially after Owen Farrell chose not to make himself available for selection. Sadly, Smith sustained an injury during England’s training camp in Girona just a few days before their first match against Italy. Had he not been injured, the 25-year-old was expected to be the top fly-half choice for Steve Borthwick in the Six Nations. His return to the squad was welcomed by Kevin Sinfield, as it provided a boost after their defeat at Murrayfield.

“To have Marcus available having not had him available throughout the Six Nations is a big boost for everybody,” Sinfield said. “Not only with what he brings on the field, but off the field as well. He has got a bit about him, got some bounce about him, a big smile and he loves being out on the training field. He has had a big impact this week. He comes in and is himself all the time. We missed him in the first few weeks, so to have him back available has been really good.

Since the World Cup, he has exhibited a comparable level of influence. However, with Owen not present due to various circumstances, the team dynamics have shifted. When the more seasoned and experienced leaders are no longer in the picture, it is natural for the younger players to take on a bigger role. Marcus has excelled in this aspect regardless.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with him, and he is an exceptional talent, isn’t he? He has the ability to embody the character of a young boy. He exhibited great energy throughout the World Cup and during our time working together last year. In the past two weeks, he has continued to bring that same spirit, both on and off the field, because he is a positive presence to have around.”

Sinfield was cagey when discussing Fin Smith but the Northampton fly-half has been the latest England player to go down with an injury in training after namesake Marcus, Alex Mitchell and Ben Curry. “We have tried to look after him the last couple of days and we are hoping he will be in full training on Thursday,” Sinfield said.

There has been significant disapproval directed towards England for their loss to Scotland, as they surrendered a 10-0 advantage in Edinburgh. They committed 25 handling mistakes and gave up 22 turnovers, causing confusion for their coaches about the cause of the defeat. Former player Will Carling also criticized England, stating that they are limited by their strict reliance on data.

Dan Cole, who played under Borthwick at Leicester as well as with England, refuted the idea that the national team are over-reliant on numbers. “The coaches have full data and it gets filtered down into metrics to go after in the game,” the tighthead prop said. “I have a relationship with Steve where if I say: ‘ooh, can I see the data?’ he will give me the book.

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“As athletes, we receive all the necessary information. We don’t go onto the field with the thought of ‘the fly-half kicks the ball 40% of the time, so I’ll go after him after he’s passed it once and run it once’. The data is condensed and incorporated into our game plan, allowing us to focus solely on executing it without overthinking.”

Cole emphasized that their goal is to win rugby games. He explained that in order to do so, they need to focus on key metrics such as conceding fewer points, rather than just scoring tries. They are currently working on improving in areas like exits and set-piece to achieve this goal.

Rugby at the test level is unlike any other form of the sport. It varies greatly from the Premiership and European leagues. Each match is a fierce battle, so it is crucial for us to closely monitor important factors. Our team, currently, must go through the process of understanding and mastering it.

Source: theguardian.com