Former rugby international lays into Marcus Smith, says fly-half 'doesn't have what it takes' - Ruck

Former rugby international lays into Marcus Smith, says fly-half ‘doesn’t have what it takes’

Robbie Fleck, the ex-South Africa centre, remains skeptical about Marcus Smith’s ability to penetrate elite Test defences, in contrast to players like Scotland’s Finn Russell, whom he believes possess the necessary skills.

RUCK’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations content powered by ISUZU.

“I don’t think he’s the answer, to be honest,” the South African said.

“A great club player and against lesser Test sides, he will always open them up. But if you’re marking yourself against the best, which is the Boks and Irish defence systems, I don’t think he can unlock them.

“I think he’s too erratic, he will try the miracle stuff which may come off but in terms of a general game management point of view, I don’t think he’s got what it takes to deliver the killer blow against those top sides.

“The one guy I do think can do that is Finn Russell. He’s proven it time and time again. But Marcus is not the answer for me.”

He added: “If Marcus Smith was playing for Scotland, where they’ve got a different mindset where they attack- like Duhan van der Merwe’s third try is exactly that. Turnover ball, Finn probably the worst kick of his life gets charged down, somehow lands in a Scottish hand, gets over the gainline, the very next touch is a cross-kick again.

“He’s not afraid of making mistakes. And I think this English side, because they’re not playing the amount of rugby that Scotland would want to play, if you make a mistake it gets amplified and I don’t think that suits him.

“Whereas at Harlequins, he can play.”

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England team to play Ireland:

15. George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)

14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps)

13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 60 caps)

12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 22 caps) 

11. Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)

10. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 94 caps) – vice captain

9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 13 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 60 caps) – vice captain

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 88 caps) – captain  

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 110 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 79 caps) – vice captain   

5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)

6. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 21 caps)

7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)

8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 28 caps)


16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 10 caps)

17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 91 caps)  

18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 36 caps)

19. Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 3 caps)

20. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 15 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 99 caps) 

22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 30 caps)

23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 67 caps)

Super computer predicts weekend’s Six Nations results, including England vs Ireland

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Their team of expert data scientists and rugby aficionados has fine-tuned the algorithm to provide you with precise and up-to-date predictions for every match in the Six Nations Rugby tournament.

From scrutinizing team form and injury updates to monitoring playing conditions and historical head-to-head records, we leave no stone unturned in delivering the most comprehensive insights to enhance your rugby viewing experience.

Six Nations Round 4 Predictions via Sports4cast

Italy vs Scotland

Get ready for Scotland’s next showdown as they step onto the field for their fourth Six Nations match, facing off against an increasingly formidable Italian squad. With two victories and one loss under their belt from the initial three games, Gregor Townsend’s crew is primed for action.

The journey kicked off with a thrilling 27-26 triumph over Wales, setting the stage for a heart-stopping encounter. Despite a narrow 20-16 defeat on home turf against France, Scotland roared back triumphantly, stunning England with a 30-21 victory in the legendary Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield.

Mark your calendars for the Italy versus Scotland clash happening on Saturday, March 9, with the action kicking off at 2:15 PM GMT. The battleground? None other than the iconic Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Don’t miss a moment of the action as ITV brings the match live to your screens. And keep an eye out for Angus Gardner from Australia, who will be officiating the showdown

Super computer prediction: Italy 16-22 Scotland