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England flyhalf Smith an injury doubt for Tonga test

England flyhalf Smith an injury doubt for Tonga test

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn International - England Training - Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot, Britain - November 2, 2021 England's Marcus Smith and Louis Lynagh during training Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

England flyhalf Marcus Smith is an injury doubt for Saturday's autumn international test against Tonga due to a minor leg injury but coach Eddie Jones is "cautiously optimistic" he can return in time before naming his squad.

Smith is one of England's exciting new prospects after he inspired Harlequins to the Premiership title earlier this year, in a closely-contested final.

The 22-year-old earned an England debut and was also called up by the British & Irish Lions as a replacement.

"Marcus Smith and (fullback) Freddie Steward have minor leg injuries, but we're cautiously optimistic that they'll be available for selection for the game against Tonga," Jones told reporters on Tuesday.

"We're being conservative with him (Smith) but we're cautiously optimistic he'll be right to play. The last call we make is 48 hours before the game.

"We're not desperate, but we are keen for him to be involved in the game. It's not frustrating, it's part and parcel of preparing a team; players pick up small knocks, and he'll recover well."

Jones, who retained 28 players at the training camp, said if Smith does not pass the fitness test, he would be considered for next week's game against Australia, also at Twickenham Stadium.

England have a number of injuries in their back line, however, with Max Malins, Raffi Quirke and Louis Lynagh not in contention.

"Max Malins and Raffi Quirke came into camp with injuries," Jones added.

"They've been rehabbing and they won't be considered for selection for the Tonga game. Hopefully they'll be fit further down the track."

ENGLAND SQUAD

FORWARDS

Jamie Blamire, Tom Curry, Trevor Davison, Alex Dombrandt, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill

BACKS

Mark Atkinson, Owen Farrell, George Furbank, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Raffi Quirke, Adam Radwan, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: Reuters

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