Marcus Smith: England and Harlequins fly-half out until 2023 with ankle injury

Colin Newboult

Fly-half Marcus Smith will miss the rest of the year at the very least after suffering an ankle injury.

The playmaker sustained the problem during England’s game against the Springboks in the recent Autumn Nations Series encounter.

In what is a concerning development for Quins and the Red Rose, a timescale on his return has not yet been given, with that set to be announced in the new year.

Seeing two specialists

“Simply, it is an ankle injury,” Quins head coach Tabai Matson told BT Sport.

“He had a specialist have a look at him this week, and another one next week.

“He will be out for this month and I think early next year we will get a better prediction of actually how many weeks he will be out for.”

Smith started all four of England’s recent November internationals but was forced off midway through the second half of their clash with the Boks.

Owen Farrell moved to fly-half when the 23-year-old was replaced and will likely continue in that position should Smith’s injury prove to be serious.

A doubt for the Six Nations?

There is just two months to go until the start of the 2023 Six Nations, where the Red Rose will begin their campaign with a home match against Scotland.

England have not claimed the Calcutta Cup since 2020 with the Scots winning the last two meetings.

They could also be going into that encounter with a new head coach after a disappointing 2022. Eddie Jones is a man under pressure and the RFU are considering sacking the Australian under a year out from the World Cup.

A lot of the Red Rose’s attacking game plan has revolved around the Smith-Farrell playmaking axis, but that may not remain in the early part of 2023 should Smith be out injured or Jones depart from his role.

READ MORE: England: Ronan O’Gara addresses Red Rose rumours