"I believe strongly" - Marcus Smith opens up on his new religious beliefs - Ruck

“I believe strongly” – Marcus Smith opens up on his new religious beliefs

Fueled by his unwavering faith, strong family values, and an insatiable drive for success, Marcus Smith, the England fly-half, has swiftly ascended to the pinnacle of rugby.

Born in the Philippines, this exceptional talent reflects upon the challenging journey that has led him to the upcoming Rugby World Cup this autumn.

He told Square Mile: “Obviously, that season wasn’t all plain sailing. Around November-December time, I was on the bench a few times at Quins. I wasn’t in contention with England, I wasn’t playing my best rugby.

“My mum is massively religious herself, so she always used to encourage us to pray with her. I wanted a solution. I wanted to try something different because what I was doing wasn’t working, and therefore I trusted my mum and listened to her and started praying with her regularly.

“Through that I felt more at ease with myself. I felt more able to deal with the ups and downs of professional sport and life as well.


“It allowed me to understand that everything happens for a reason and everything is meant to happen. As long as you are good and do the right things and you work as hard as you can, that’s all you can ultimately do.

“And so I surrendered all the outcomes, everything that I can’t control to Him and worked as hard as I can at the sport I love dearly. It’s definitely brought me very, very close to God and I believe strongly in Him.

Related content:

Four famous rugby players who changed religion

Now and then, rugby players grab the headlines for their performances on the pitch, and more often than not, their activities off the pitch gives them the media spotlight.

Many stars have changed their religions to attain spiritual awakening during the early or later part of their lives.

Religion is one of the most sensitive and salient aspects of one’s life, irrespective of whether he is a celebrity or not. The world sees people convert to other religions in search of bliss and serenity.

Here is a list of four famous rugby stars who converted to other religions. Read their stories:

1. Sonny Bill Williams – Islam

Williams revealed that it was when he was living in Australia and playing league for the Bulldogs that he first learned about Islam.

“I grew up as a Christian, and to be honest, I always felt a little bit uncomfortable – not about the message, but the environment,” he said.

“People at the time that I knew in Australia… they always had this aura around them, that they were happy, they were never sad… always inviting me round… So that’s how I first learnt about Islam.”

It was a few years later in France when he converted to the faith, after sensationally walking out on his multi-million dollar NRL contract in 2008 to play rugby for Toulon.

“When I first made my Shahada (profession of faith) my knowledge of the dīn (Muslim way of life) was pretty limited,” he explained.

It was his friendship with a local Tunisian family that solidified his belief in “the beauty of Islam,” and ultimately led to him learning more about the religion.”It was a family of four or five (children) and they had a one bedroom house and they all slept in the lounge room,” he explained.

“I spent the majority of my time there… plenty of time sleeping on the floor in the house.

“The contentment, the solace, the happiness that they had in that household… was beautiful… so that’s how I really started getting into it (Islam),” he explained.