Dylan Hartley wants England to unleash Marcus Smith

Date published: October 13 2021 - News Desk

Ex-England skipper Dylan Hartley wants head coach Eddie Jones to unleash Marcus Smith’s attacking potential during the team’s upcoming November internationals.

After making his Test debut against the USA in July and also representing the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa, Smith has been named in Jones’ training squad for their Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa.


And Hartley is hoping England will allow the highly-rated 22-year-old to show off his vast array of skills.

“Good news, the whizz kid, Marcus Smith has been included. He epitomises everything that is attacking for me,” Hartley said at Prime Video Sport’s launch of its autumn internationals coverage.

“Eddie is smart enough, I am not putting words into his mouth, not to pick Marcus and then constrict him to play a different way.

“I will say give him the keys to grandpa’s car, let him take a spin and be surprised if the car comes back.

“I don’t know what old guy they can bring back. Maybe bring back Danny Care, there is a reason Marcus Smith is so good. He puts the ball in Marcus Smith’s hands.”

Former England prop David Flatman has called Smith a “genuine wonder kid”.

“What is easy to do is watch Marcus Smith and say he has to play for England,” he said. “I say it because it is easy.

“But to pick him you have to leave George Ford out, leave Owen Farrell out, these are more difficult decisions than just picking somebody.

“If Eddie does pick him and I strongly believe he should, I aggressively believe he should, there are some wonderful fly-halves playing in England, he is 100 miles ahead of all of them, he is a genuine wonder kid, he is not just flash, he is a brilliant game-manager, a wonderful communicator.

“It will be significant, if England pick him they have to let him play his way, which is not the way they have been playing. They have got some wonderful talent, rip into it lads and use it.”

Wasps urge fans not to wear headdresses

Meanwhile, Wasps have made a call to fans, who attend matches at their Coventry Building Society Arena home base, not to wear “faux Native American headdresses”.

The Premiership club host rivals Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, with the Devon-based outfit already hitting the headlines over an ongoing storm around accusations of cultural appropriation.

Last year, Exeter announced that they will retain their Chiefs branding but they “retired” their club mascot ‘Big Chief’ following a board review.

Wasps have revealed club supporters have asked for guidance on “cultural signifiers”, with the Midlands outfit asking for guidance from the RFU and Premiership Rugby.