Revisiting Sir Ian McGeechan's ’Four Young England Players to Watch’ list from 2020 - Ruck

Revisiting Sir Ian McGeechan’s ’Four Young England Players to Watch’ list from 2020

We revisit the four England youngsters that Sir Ian McGeechan included in his top 10 list of the best young players in the world from 2020.

#1. Marcus Smith

McGeechan said: “Smith’s progression from Brighton College 1st XV to the Harlequins 1st XV was rapid and well-timed, with Nick Evans stepping back to coach.

Marcus Smith of England scores a penalty during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 13 November 2021. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK

“I have watched a lot of him. He never looks flustered on the ball, which is the hallmark of a great player and he has been in and around the England squad without yet being capped. But one to watch, certainly.”

Where is he now? The Quins stalwart has since became a regular for England and was also called up by Warren Gatland during the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand

Marcus Smith Facts:

  1. Born in the Philippines to a British father and a Filipina mother, Smith started playing rugby union at the age of seven for Centaurs RFC when his family moved to Singapore
  2. He moved to the United Kingdom at the age of thirteen and subsequently received a sports scholarship to attend Brighton College, where he captained the school’s 1st XV
  3. Smith was called up to the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad as injury cover for Finn Russell
  4. His Dad played international rugby too, representing Hong Kong