Six Nations 2024: Marcus Smith fit for England ahead of Ireland clash but Fin Smith a doubt

Six Nations 2024: Marcus Smith fit for England ahead of Ireland clash but Fin Smith a doubt

England still want to give injury doubt Fin Smith the chance to prove his fitness for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham.

Northampton fly-half Smith picked up a suspected calf problem last week, and has not trained fully on Monday or Tuesday.

England hope the 21-year-old will be able to return to full training on Thursday, with assistant coach Kevin Sinfield refusing to rule him out of the selection battle for the weekend.

Harlequins star Marcus Smith has proved his own fitness after his own calf concern, and the 24-year-old could now step straight back into the England match squad.

Quins fly-half Smith could even start Saturday’s Ireland clash at No 10, with Alex Mitchell in line to drop back in at scrum-half having beaten a knee injury.

“We have tried to look after Fin Smith the last couple of days and we are hoping he will be in full training on Thursday,” said Sinfield.

“Everyone else has trained today.

“Fly-half is a position where we have got plenty of strength so Steve (Borthwick) will make that call on Thursday after the session.

“If everyone comes through Thursday, then Steve obviously has got a headache.”

Marcus Smith has proved his fitness this week (PA)
Marcus Smith has proved his fitness this week (PA)

England are looking to hit back from their 30-21 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield, where they ceded possession an alarming 22 times.

The Red Rose men headed into the tournament hoping to pair Mitchell and Smith as their premier half-backs, but injuries have denied them that chance so far.

Now that both men are back fit and raring to go, head coach Borthwick will be sorely tempted to field the pair from the off.

“You want your best players to be fit and the two of those have been fantastic for us,” said Sinfield.

“Mitch and his speed of ball and threat around the ruck has been really important for us.

“Likewise to have Marcus available having not had him throughout the Six Nations so far is a big boost for everybody.

“It’s not only with what he brings on the field either, but off the field as well. He has got a bit about him, he’s got some bounce about him, a big smile and he loves being on the training field.

“He has had a big impact this week.”