England: Marcus Smith relishing Owen Farrell combination against the Wallabies

David Skippers

Marcus Smith is looking forward to combining with Owen Farrell for England when they take on the Wallabies in their three-Test series in Australia in July.

Head coach Eddie Jones is set to use Smith at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre in the opening Test against the Wallabies on July 2 after the duo went head-to-head in the Premiership semi-final three weeks ago.

Farrell’s Saracens sealed a 34-17 win over Smith’s Harlequins that day but the Quins playmaker is still Jones’ preferred choice at number 10.

Shone against Wallabies in 2021

The Smith and Farrell combination was used before in England‘s 32-15 win over Australia in their Autumn Nations Series clash at Twickenham last November, but that result was overshadowed when the latter sustained an ankle injury.

That setback and another ankle injury ruled the 30-year-old out of the Six Nations but he is back to full fitness and Smith is keen to play alongside him again.

“Owen’s a brilliant player. I loved playing with him in the autumn,” he said.

“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.”

Knows what’s at stake against Australia

It is Smith’s first senior England tour but, despite being a rookie, he is aware of the importance of going up 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.”

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