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Marcus Smith: Nick Evans urges Harlequins fly-half to stay patient in bid for England cap

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Marcus Smith helped Harlequins to fourth successive win as they beat Sale on Saturday; Smith set up a try and kicked nine points in 24-12 win; Nick Evans: “Marcus is playing well and that’s all you can do. Sometimes you’re just not flavour of the month, I’ve been in that situation”

Marcus Smith was last called up by England in 2019

Marcus Smith was last called up by England in 2019

Marcus Smith has been urged to continue placing himself on England’s radar after he steered Harlequins to a 24-12 Premiership victory over Sale.

Smith has been influential in Quins’ four-match winning run built since Paul Gustard stepped down as head of rugby last month, but has not appeared in one of Eddie Jones’ squads since 2019.

The 22-year-old fly-half set-up a try for Alex Dombrandt and kicked nine points to help his team climb to third place.

Assistant coach Nick Evans insisted he must show patience in his pursuit of a first England cap.

“Marcus is playing well and that’s all you can do,” said former New Zealand fly-half Evans. “Sometimes you’re just not flavour of the month, I’ve been in that situation.

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“He’s got to concentrate on playing well for us. If the team does well, he does well and then you’re in the shop window, putting pressure on and forcing them to look at you. Hopefully he’ll get his reward sooner rather than later.

“It was another good performance from Marcus. The ceiling is so high with him. He didn’t influence the game as much as he’d have liked in the second half but that happens.

“He will get it wrong, like any 10, but it’s all learning and this was another step in the right direction.”

Two tries in three minutes by centre Joe Marchant, followed by Dombrandt’s touch down, powered Quins 21-0 ahead, but Evans viewed his team’s work without the ball as decisive.

“Defensively it was a really good performance,” he said. “The stats show we made over 200 tackles while they made 70. We showed intent and aggression, especially when defending our 22.”

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