England fly-half Marcus Smith ruled out of Six Nations opener against Italy

Marcus Smith is sidelined with a calf injury
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Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith will miss the upcoming Six Nations opener for England against Italy following a calf injury.

The 24-year-old sustained the blow during a training session in Girona and underwent a scan which has effectively ruled him out of the clash against Italy. He is also adoubt for the second round game against Wales,

“[Marcus] won’t make this weekend sadly,” said the assistant coach, Kevin Sinfield.

“It is a calf injury. We got the scan report through but we are waiting to understand exactly what that means for us moving forward. He’s not fit for this weekend. At the minute, we’re waiting for a second opinion on the scan. We will know more then.”

The absence of Smith and the unavailability of Owen Farrell means George Ford and uncapped Fin Smith are the two fly-halves in the squad.

“[Marcus is] a big loss,” added Sinfield. “He’s an outstanding guy who I have absolutely loved working with and I have got a really good connection with.

"But what that does is provide opportunities for others. We have said it since I have been working with England that we are blessed with the 10s that we have got.

“Fin Smith’s been in camp before, his form has been outstanding for Northampton and he has trained great too. Without giving too much away, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where that might leave us.

"We have got Fin and George who has got 91 caps I think, so he has got that experience, and a young gun who has been in top, top form. We’re still in a very, very good position.”