England head coach Steve Borthwick explained why he felt it best to omit Marcus Smith from this week’s fallow week training in Brighton.
Borthwick’s 26-man squad will train at Brighton College, the school where Smith initially nurtured his potential as a teenager before signing for quins.
When Borthwick previously named a 26-man squad for the fallow week camp in London, after the round two win over Italy, Smith was included along with Skipper Owen Farrell who had taken the No.10 Jersey from him for the clash with the Azzurri. That was the first time in 16 matches in which Smith wasn’t named as the starting England No.10.
“You make a decision on which players really benefit more, from either being in training or game time. I decided the decision was that Marcus would benefit from a game time at his club this weekend and having that match sharpness. That is why I decided that decision” said Borthwick.
“We are not in a test week, we’re in a training camp week. I felt the best decision for Marcus is to get some game time. George has played for his club [sale] at the weekend so this is an opportunity for Marcus to go and play. He had very limited game time because of the nature of the game (versus Wales) so I thought this was a step forward.” added Borthwick.
Borthwick was Ford’s club coach at Leicester last year when Tigers won the Premiership title. Ford was seriously injured in that final and he only returned to play earlier this month for Sale, the club he joined last month.