England boss Eddie Jones has warned Marcus Smith against the distractions that are sure to come his way as the fly-halves fame continues to rise.
The Aussie is determined to help Smith avoid the same traps that have derailed tennis player Emma Raducanu’s momentum since the teenager won the US Open in sensational fashion.
“The big thing for good young players is distractions,” Jones said.
“The distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get. There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.
“There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever, wearing Christian Dior clothes. All that is a distraction around her.
“He is grounded, but they all start out grounded,” Jones added.
“No one starts with their feet off the ground or they don’t get in the team and they don’t win a US Open. They all start grounded, but there are a flood of distractions which come in, which can make them ungrounded.
“It might not be to that degree with Marcus, but potentially it could be. So the guidance we can give him when he’s with us, the guidance that he gets from Quins and the guidance he gets from his parents – who I know, fortunately, are very good people – will be important, so he can keep his feet on the ground and keep impressing as a rugby player.”
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Fans pick new-look England XV they want to start against Australia
RUCK followers have been voting for how England should line up against Australia next weekend – with OWEN FARRELL and ELLIS GENGE both missing out.
In total, fans voted for Eddie Jones to make five changes with fans voting both Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds into the starting XV.
England will play Australia on Saturday 13 November (5.30pm KO) in the second of their Autumn Nations Series matches at Twickenham Stadium. Their final fixture is against world champions South Africa on Saturday 20 November (3.15pm KO).
Fans picks their England XV to start against Australia:
- 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
- 14. Louis Lynagh (Harlequins)
- 11. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)
- 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
- 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks)