Injury update: It's BAD NEWS for Marcus Smith and England - Ruck

Injury update: It’s BAD NEWS for Marcus Smith and England

England has conceded that Marcus Smith may miss the entirety of the Guinness Six Nations due to a calf injury, ruling him out of at least the upcoming opener against Italy and the subsequent match against Wales.

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The anticipated starter against Italy, Smith sustained the injury during Monday’s training session. As a result of his absence, 21-year-old Fin Smith from Northampton, currently in good form, will make his international debut from the bench at the Stadio Olimpico.

England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, provided an update, stating, “Marcus went back to England on Thursday and will undergo further investigations later this week. He won’t be available next week. We’re not sure exactly when. Hopefully, he will play in the latter part of the Six Nations, but it will be a number of weeks. We’ll know more next week.”

The challenges for England multiply as they are already missing key players in the midfield, with Owen Farrell and Joe Marchant unavailable, and Ollie Lawrence and Manu Tuilagi nursing injuries.

The retirement of Courtney Lawes and the absence of the injured Tom Curry in the back row, along with Jonny May’s retirement, have left voids to be filled.

In response to these setbacks, Borthwick has introduced several new caps in the matchday 23, a notable development analysed by England legend Will Greenwood.

See Greenwood, who was writing for the Telegraph’s, review of the five debutants.

#1. Fraser Dingwall

The 24-year-old Northampton back has been involved in 10 previous England camps and claims a position filled by Manu Tuilagi during the World Cup.

Greenwood wrote: “I think he’s the best midfield player of the lot. The key word there is ‘player’. He can manipulate defences, find edges. He’s a young fella who’s had to find a different way to get over gain-lines because he’s not a Manu or an Ollie Lawrence.

Fraser Dingwall of Northampton Saints scores a second half try during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs at Franklins Gardens, Northampton on 12 November 2023. – PHOTO: Patrick Khachfe/PPAUK

“People like that are invaluable. If Borthwick wants someone who can go to a gain-line and pick the right option, he’s the one midfielder who’ll do that. I was lucky to have a coach who picked me on what I could do rather than what I couldn’t. Dingwall will need the same conviction.”

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