Marcus Smith Wears Another Country's Flag While Playing for England - Ruck

Marcus Smith Wears Another Country’s Flag While Playing for England

In a surprising revelation, England’s fly-half sensation, Marcus Smith, has disclosed a unique tradition he upholds whenever he dons the jersey for Steve Borthwick’s squad.

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The 24-year-old, whose roots trace back to the Philippines with a Filipino mother and a British father, shared that he proudly sports the flag of his birthplace each time he takes the field.

Having spent the formative eight years of his life in the Philippines, Smith’s commitment to his heritage shines through in this symbolic gesture on the rugby pitch.

Speaking on the recent Six Nations Netflix documentary, Smith said: “I wear my lucky pants, which have got a half English flag and a half Filipino flag.

“I make sure I wear them so I remember where I’ve come from and who I’m playing for.”

Smith has previously has expressed his aspiration to become involved in Philippine rugby once his current Test career with England concludes.

According to the current World Rugby eligibility rules, Smith could potentially represent the Philippines after a three-year stand-down period.

During an Ask Me Anything session with England, Smith was questioned about his interest in representing the Philippines.

“One day I’d love to help and be involved in Philippine rugby, my brother currently plays for the Philippines,” the 30-cap England international said.

Marcus Smith of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

“Obviously my heart and my mind are fully with England at the minute, it’s a dream of mine to be wearing this kit right now.

“One day that might be different, or when I retire from here, if I get that opportunity, if my body still holds up, it would be lovely to play with both of my younger brothers.”

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Sir Clive Woodward picks his England XV for summer series:

Legendary coach Sir Clive Woodward has named the five exciting England players he wants Steve Borthwick to build his future squads around.

He said: “Like Gareth Southgate and his England footballers, Steve Borthwick and the country’s rugby stars have a hugely exciting and potentially defining few weeks ahead.

“The similarities between the two teams are striking. Both are packed with exciting young players blessed with brilliant, natural ability.

“For Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka in football, read Marcus Smith, Tommy Freeman and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in rugby. There are others in Borthwick’s squad I’m excited by, particularly Fin Smith and George Martin.”

England’s summer tour begins in Tokyo on June 22, coinciding with Eddie Jones’ first game in his second tenure as Japan’s head coach.

Steve Borthwick’s squad will then head to New Zealand for two tests against the All Blacks: in Dunedin on July 6 and Auckland on July 13.

Picking Slade at 12:

He wrote: “With the talent England have, it is essential the midfield starts working. Henry Slade still has a big role to play. I’d have Marcus Smith at fly-half with a centre pairing of Slade and Freeman.

“Freeman is special and can play both wing and centre. He reminds me of Ben Cohen, who had a brilliant combination of power and timing. Ollie Lawrence has been fantastic, offers a physical presence and will undoubtedly be in the midfield conversation.

“But playing Slade at 12 offers a second kicking option to Marcus Smith and provides plenty of experience.”

Wing selection:

He wrote: “I’d play Feyi-Waboso and Ollie Sleightholme on the wings. The former is a nailed-on starter and Sleightholme has come from nowhere to finish as the Premiership’s leading try scorer.

Ollie Sleightholme of Northampton Saints during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby at Twickenham Stadium on 8 June 2024. Photo: Elli Birch/PPAUK

“t is such an exciting summer of sport and English rugby needs to show why it can still be a blockbuster attraction. It is telling that, for the first time, traditional broadcasters will not air England’s game in Japan.”

Sir Clive Woodward’s England XV:

George Furbank

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

Tommy Freeman

Henry Slade

Ollie Sleightholme

Marcus Smith

Alex Mitchell