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Marcus Smith has been ruled out of the England versus Italy match due to a calf injury.
Rugby union Sport

Marcus Smith has been ruled out of the England versus Italy match due to a calf injury.

Marcus Smith has been declared unable to play in England’s first game of the Six Nations against Italy this Saturday, opening the opportunity for Fin Smith to make his debut in Rome. The Harlequins’ fly-half injured his calf during England’s training camp in Girona and an initial scan has confirmed that he will not be able to participate in the first match of the tournament.

Marcus Smith, who was thought to be a top candidate for the number 10 position in Rome, and Steve Borthwick, who is eagerly awaiting more details on his recovery time, have both been dealt a harsh setback. It is uncertain if Smith will be fit for England’s next game against Wales in just over a week.

Borthwick has had to make changes to his squad due to injuries to Ollie Lawrence and Luke Cowan-Dickie. Additionally, George Martin, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Jack van Poortvliet, and Tom Curry are also currently dealing with injuries.

Unfortunately, Marcus will not be able to participate this weekend due to a calf injury, according to assistant coach Kevin Sinfield. The team has received the scan results, but they are still waiting for further clarification on the extent of the injury. As of now, Marcus is not fit to play this weekend and they are seeking a second opinion on the scan before making any decisions.

During his absence, George Ford and Fin Smith are both competing for the No. 10 position. Ford brings experience to a team that will have many new players at the World Cup, but the Northampton player is currently the top fly-half in the country and is receiving high praise from England’s coaches. Whether he starts or comes in as a substitute, he is set to make his international debut on Saturday.

“Marcus’ departure is a significant loss,” Sinfield expressed. “He is an exceptional individual whom I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and have developed a strong connection with. However, this opens up opportunities for others. We have always acknowledged the depth of talent we have at the fly-half position in the England team. Fin Smith has been part of our squad before and has been performing exceptionally for Northampton, as well as training impressively. Without giving too much away, it’s not difficult to guess our options. We have both Fin and George, who has an impressive 91 international caps and brings valuable experience, as well as a promising young player in top form. We are still in a very advantageous position.”

Fin SmithView image in fullscreen

On Monday, Marcus Smith got injured and was seen using crutches at England’s team base. Borthwick has not yet decided if a substitute will be called in, but the 24-year-old has unfortunately missed the opportunity to start a new chapter for England.

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During the early part of the training session, Sinfield explained that Marcus, who is known for his energy, sustained an injury while recovering from a two-day break. Sinfield expressed disappointment for Marcus and praised his work ethic. We are hopeful for a quick recovery.

I am uncertain about the details. The outcome may be influenced by the second opinion. It would be wonderful if we could retain his presence. I believe that our strong team members will benefit from spending more time together, fostering friendships and relationships both on and off the field. It would be ideal if he remains with us.

Source: theguardian.com