Marcus Smith sent message to Eddie Jones after scoring stunning try against Japan - Ruck

Marcus Smith sent message to Eddie Jones after scoring stunning try against Japan

England fly-half Marcus Smith, who was handed his debut by former coach Eddie Jones, has seen his place in the team questioned by the very man who first selected him.

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Jones, in an episode of his podcast EDDIE, suggested that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) may have influenced Smith’s selection over former captain Owen Farrell.

“The selection of Marcus — to me that’s always the political selection,” Jones stated. He went on to describe how external pressures, particularly from the media, can impact team decisions. “A player has been out of form, hasn’t quite done well at Test level and then he plays one or two club games and he’s a hero. The media starts banging on the door — you’ve got to pick him, you’ve got to pick him — and then the board reacts to that, and ask, ‘Why aren’t you picking him?’”

Jones also touched on the challenges young coaches face in such situations. “When you’re a young coach at the start of your career you can get influenced by that. I really felt for Marcus in that game. The thing you’ve got in England is the intensity of the media, which then affects the board, and they start to step in, and that’s when you get problems. Allow the coach to coach.”

He added that the board should focus on strategic roles rather than getting involved in the operational side of team selection. “The board have a strategic role, but because they feel the pressure they try to get involved in the operational side, and that’s when things get worse. Unless you have strong people around the team that can be a difficulty.”

Responding to these claims, an RFU spokesperson told Telegraph Sport: “Team selection is entirely Steve’s decision as England Head Coach.”

Despite the controversy, Marcus Smith delivered a stellar performance today, scoring a stunning try for England against Jones’ Japan.

Smith glided through the Japanese defence, executing a flawless fake pass before diving over between the posts. He capped off his first half display with a sublime 50-22, reinforcing his place in the team.

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Woodward is the World Cup winning Head Coach who led England’s rugby players to World Cup glory in Australia in 2003.

A former England International and British & Irish Lion himself, prior to his full time coaching career Clive established a successful business career working for nine years with Xerox in the UK and Australia before establishing his own small finance and leasing company.

During Clive’s tenure as Head Coach England moved from 6th in the world to being the number one ranked team, winning every trophy an England team can win.


Currently in charge of Georgia, he was part of the England coaching staff up until the end of the 2023 Six Nations.


Currently the Munster head coach.


Although Baxter joined the England coaching team for the summer tour to Argentina and Uruguay in March 2013, he has no other experience outside of Exeter.

“I would be happy to have a chat about what the role is, how they see it working and what their plans and ambitions are,” Baxter said of the England job.

“Unless you know what it is, it’s hard to say yes or no to anything. At the same time, I’m not looking for another job! I’m very happy here,” he added.

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park, Exeter on 19th Nov 2023. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK