Smith plans to prioritize self-care by taking more breaks following his duties with the England team.
Marcus Smith plans to adjust his post-tournament plans in order to extend his career, as he acknowledged returning too soon from the World Cup.
The Harlequins put the fly-half in the game the week following England’s bronze-medal match against Argentina, but he would not be able to do so now.
After making a substitution appearance against Newcastle, Smith’s performance steadily improved and reached its peak in a recent Premiership match against Sale. He continued his strong form in the Champions Cup victory against Racing 92 on Sunday. As the favorite to start at fly-half for England in the upcoming Six Nations tournament, the 24-year-old stated that he will not rush his return in the future.
“I dedicated a lot of emotional energy towards that goal,” he explained. “I only took two weeks off during the off-season and spent three weeks training because I was determined not to miss the opportunity. I was eager to be a part of the World Cup tour.”
“I was overly optimistic in assuming I could simply return and immediately resume without issue. However, this experience has taught me to be more communicative and discerning about when to decline. I am passionate about playing for this team and was eager to do so upon my return, but looking back, I should have allowed myself a week of rest.”
The England captain, Owen Farrell, stepped back from the international game after torrents of abuse during the World Cup and that was a warning for Smith to pace himself. Smith’s half-back partner Danny Care has said publicly how tough it was to get back into the club game.
Smith has placed his trust in Harlequins’ director of rugby, Billy Millard, to assist in strategizing for the current and future campaigns.
Smith stated that he is unable to comment on Owen’s current circumstances and instead, he sends his well wishes for his decision. He also mentioned that he stays in touch with Owen, but he was extremely determined to return and play again. However, he also acknowledged the importance of taking care of his mental and physical well-being in order to have a long career in the game.
“Billy and I have a great relationship. I have known him for quite some time and he always takes care of me. He knows how to make me smile and our bond is wonderful.”
I have complete faith in him and I am confident that he always prioritizes my well-being.