"Drop Farrell" - Austin Healey picks his England backline for Autumn Nations Series - Ruck

“Drop Farrell” – Austin Healey picks his England backline for Autumn Nations Series

Austin Healey has called on Eddie Jones to start Marcus Smith at fly-half for England’s next tests against Tonga and Australia.

The former England international, who was picking his England backline for BT Sport, wants to see a number of big changes with both Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell left out of his selection.

Healey argued that Smith should start at 10 without England captain Farrell at inside centre in his country’s next tests against Tonga and Australia.

#HALFBACKS:

  • 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
  • 9. Dan Robson (Wasps)

Healey said: “If you want to play high-tempo and you want to play at pace then you need a nine that will get the ball into Marcus Smith’s hands very quickly. That’s why I’ve gone for [Dan] Robson at nine,

“We’re all presuming that Marcus Smith is going to start. I’m always picking my backline for Tonga because its going to be the same against Australia. I don’t believe in giving players chances against sides that aren’t as competitive as others.

“So by picking Marcus Smith we’re saying that he’s not going to pick Owen Farrell. I think that’s the only player apart from maybe Maro [Itoje] that he hasn’t dropped in his entire tenure.

“So it’s a difficult one because that will really signify a change in his ethos and the way he’s going to play if Farrell doesn’t start.”

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