England fly-half Smith out of Six Nations opener


England fly-half Marcus Smith limped off during a training session on Monday and could be sidelined for this weekend’s Six Nations opener against Italy

With fly-half Owen Farrell making himself unavailable for selection for his well-being, Smith’s absence would “definitely be a blow,” England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth told reporters.

“It wasn’t a big incident, that’s why I was hoping it was nothing much. He was just jogging, but he pulled up and happened to be right next to a physio when he did it by the sideline.”

British media reports the 24-year-old was later seen using crutches and was to undergo a scan.

England are already without centres Ollie Lawrence and Oscar Beard, as well as hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie for the match in Rome on Saturday.

Coach Steve Borthwick could turn to George Ford at No.10 if Smith is ruled out, with the uncapped Fin Smith another option.

Borthwick is scheduled to announce his starting line-up on Thursday.

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