Marcus Smith excited by room for improvement after series win in Australia

·2 min read
England’s Marcus Smith says there is more to come (Rick Rycroft/AP) (AP)
England’s Marcus Smith says there is more to come (Rick Rycroft/AP) (AP)

Marcus Smith admits that sharpening the attack is the priority for the autumn as England celebrate a hard-fought series victory over Australia.

Eddie Jones’ tourists claimed the second and third Tests to emulate the tour of 2016 by toppling the Wallabies in their own back yard, but they rarely only sporadically with the ball in hand.

England are attempting to reshape their attack as part of a reboot that began a year ago, playing through phases and limiting their reliance on kicking.

England’s Marcus Smith celebrates winning in Sydney (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)
England’s Marcus Smith celebrates winning in Sydney (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)

It has yet to produce the fireworks hoped for and with the World Cup just 14 months away, Smith believes it is time to start launching the threequarters

“This series has been a brilliant foundation and then on the back of that is our attacking game,” the Harlequins fly-half said.

“With the players we have got we can score loads of tries. We have just scratched the surface of that and we are excited.

“Whoever gets the opportunity in the autumn is definitely going to take that forward and we have good momentum now.”

Wing Tommy Freeman and full-back Freddie Steward produced some of England’s best moments in the third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground with the 21-year-olds using their size and strength to pierce the Wallabies defence.

Owen Farrell (left) has linked well with Smith (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)
Owen Farrell (left) has linked well with Smith (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)

“When you have got brilliant runners in outside channels you have just got to feed them and they made themselves available in the back line,” Smith said.

“If you lob them the ball they nearly make a half-break, so they make you look all right!

“We scratched the surface in the third Test and we will review that, learn from it and we need to be better because it is a big year coming up.”

At the heart of the new tactical blueprint is Smith’s partnership with Owen Farrell. Both play at fly-half for their clubs but Farrell has moved to inside centre to accommodate Smith for England.

“We are still relatively new, we have only played four games together, which is very, very early,” Smith said.

“We have been challenging each other. He has been challenging me over the last few weeks to be myself and back myself and I have challenged him to be himself as well.

“When Owen is himself, he’s a brilliant player, he drives the team really well, communicates really well and he his energy is infectious across the team. I have loved playing with him.”