"Borthwick lost the plot" - Marcus Smith set for shock position switch - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“Borthwick lost the plot” – Marcus Smith set for shock position switch


Marcus Smith of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

9. Danny Care (Harlequins)

The Harlequins duo of Smith and Care could be seen as the second string halfback partnership behind Ford and Youngs, with Owen Farrell set to miss the opening two matches of the Rugby World Cup campaign.

Following Jack van Poortvliet’s injury, the Youngs-Ford collaboration is Borthwick’s most tried and tested method from his days as Leicester Tigers Head Coach, and will need to keep fully fit for the opening rounds in France. The Quins duo get our pick to start on Saturday, with both Smith and Care out with a point to prove.


Ellis Genge of England on the break during the Six Nations Championship, Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 4th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

1 Ellis Genge (Captain) (Bristol Bears)

2. Jamie George (Saracens)

3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears)

With Owen Farrell out for his ban, Borthwick needs leaders across the park on Saturday. We believe that Borthwick will pick Ellis Genge to lead the side out, in an attempt to secure his first win as England captain, in his third attempt (France at Twickenham in Six Nations, and Wales in Cardiff). Jamie George partners him once again, with Kyle Sinckler set to state his claim for the number three jersey after being pushed down the recent pecking order by Will Stuart.


Maro Itoje of England during the England Captains Run ahead of the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Friday 3rd February 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens)

5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers)

Ollie Chessum made his long awaited return to England action last weekend, as he came off the bench for David Ribbans at the Aviva Stadium. We believe Chessum will start from the get-go this Saturday, with Maro Itoje partnering him to re-unite the second row duo that packed down the scrum during the 2023 Six Nations.