Smith fully focused on Quins after England heroics

Marcus Smith has given assurances to Quins fans that they can expect a fully-focused player returning to the ranks after his thrilling time away with England.

The fly-half had an unforgettable few weeks across the A316 from the Stoop with the national side as they won all three autumn internationals. And the crowning moment was bagging the penalty which ultimately defeated world champions South Africa in a nail-biter.

Eddie Jones has predicted more great things in the future for the 22-year-old, who so impressed with his calm decision-making and clear appetite for the Test arena, that he looks likely to be a permanent fixture in the years ahead.

But the proviso, according to the England boss, is that Smith does not become distracted by the fame – having famously pointed to a blip for tennis star Emma Raducanu since she won the US Open in the summer.

Quins fans should not worry though, Smith insists.

“For me it’s brilliant advice,” he said. “I’m still a young player. I’ve only done a couple of years in professional rugby.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m very grateful to have been put into many different experiences – both for Quins and as an apprentice in this environment.

“I feel I’ve learnt a lot in both those experiences and for me, being my first proper [England] campaign, it’s made me very desperate to get back here in the new year.

“But after this, I’ve got to get my feet back in Quins colours and playing the rugby Quins want me to play. That’s my next focus. I’ll use the next few days [take stock] and come back firing for Quins.

“My brothers will keep me grounded too. They were sending laughing emojis about my [failed] dropped goal attempt.”

Smith’s determination to keep his feet on the ground does not prevent him from feeling profound satisfaction at the way the autumn series panned out for him, and for England.

“It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to play big games here at Twickenham,” he admitted. “I know it’s just the start for me and it’s a journey I’m desperate to be on.

“I’ve loved every minute of this series. Coming in four weeks ago, with a challenge to play Tonga, Australia and South Africa was one I was definitely excited about.

“I still remember the first meeting we had in Jersey and I could see in everyone’s eyes that everyone else was excited as well.

“For me, it was an absolute pleasure and honour to be here. I’ve learnt off all the players and coaches and to cap it off with three good wins at home in front of all our friends and family made it extra special.”

He added: “To kick the ball out today [to end the match] was amazing and to see everyone’s faces so happy and celebrating was special. For me, it makes me want it more and more.”