Give Marcus Smith keys to No.10, former England stars urge Eddie Jones

‘Marcus is running rings round people on a weekly basis that we know to be top of the range. He’s potentially a phenomenon’

‘There’s more razzle dazzle in Marcus than we’ve seen from anybody in a long time’

Marcus Smith is creating a level of excitement not felt since Danny Cipriani first emerged and must start for England this autumn.

That is the message for Eddie Jones delivered by former Red Rose stars Topsy Ojo and David Flatman.

Smith came off the bench for Harlequins against Bristol on Friday and in his first game of the season turned a 21-0 deficit into a 52-24 win.

It continued a stunning 2021 in which he steered Quins to the Premiership title and was picked by both England and the Lions.

On Monday Jones names his squad for the autumn and all eyes are on whether he keeps the 22-year old in the No.10 shirt with Owen Farrell and George Ford now available.

Ojo and Flatman argue that with Smith on fire and England two years out from the World Cup, the time is right to give him his shot.

Danny Cipriani starred for England on his full debut against Ireland as a 20-year-old



“It’s a very similar feel to Danny,” said Ojo, recalling how Cipriani exploded on the scene as a teenager and was winning matches for England at the age of 20.

“Someone that young, that talented, warranting a starting place at his club almost straight out of school. You don’t see that, especially in the fly-half position.

“We’re all excited to see what Marcus can deliver. If we’re looking at who’s exciting, who do we want to watch, who’s potentially going to take England to the next level, he’s one of those you want to look at.

Smith delivered a sensational display against Bristol last week


Action Images)

“We’ve seen him against USA and Canada, but can he do it with 80,000 at Twickenham? More eyes, more pressure. Let’s expose him now, let’s see where he’s at.”

Flatman, who will join Ojo as part of Amazon Prime Video’s team covering the Autumn Nations Series, echoed the words of the former wing.

“Marcus is running rings round people on a weekly basis that we know to be top of the range,” he said. “He writes his own scripts and he’s potentially a phenomenon.

Topsy Ojo in action for London Irish during his playing career


Getty Images)

“He is better than anyone else at the moment. There’s more razzle dazzle in him than we’ve seen from anybody in a long time.

“Cipriani was similar,” Flatman added. “What we see from Smith we feel and we hope could last a rugby generation in an England jersey. So please pick him. I’m a rugby fan and I’m desperate to watch him.”

Amazon Prime Video will exclusively broadcast 17 Autumn Nations Series matches live in October and November 2021

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