Marcus Smith will jump at every opportunity he gets - John Kingston

Marcus Smith has made a huge impression in his few Premiership outings
Marcus Smith has made a huge impression in his few Premiership outings

Harlequins rugby director John Kingston lavished praise on Marcus Smith but believes the fly-half is unlikely to be picked in England's autumn international squad.

Smith was included in the England training camps in Teddington and Oxford and despite head coach Eddie Jones playing down his inclusion, the hype on the 18-year-old's potential is on the rise.

Kingston said he was impressed by the skills and maturity shown by Smith in his four appearances in the Aviva Premiership this season but believes his inclusion in the red rose team is unlikely to happen ahead of the autumn internationals.

"I understand the interest in Marcus because he's young, although he's not the first 18-year-old to be playing Premiership rugby.

"He'll get on well with England in the way he's got on well every time he's been asked to play by us.

"It's not some sort of gimmick whereby he's been selected because he's young.

"I don't give a rats how young he is, I give a rats about what he's able to do and therefore also what's the right thing to do in looking after him.

"Marcus will jump at every opportunity he gets. I keep talking about his ability, but his greatest strength is here (points to head).

"It's the maturity that impresses me most and because of that I've no doubt that he will stand up and face any challenge head on."

Former Australia skipper James Horwill, who joined the Quins in 2015 believes Smith will only get better with experience.

"Marcus is so composed for an 18-year-old and that's the most impressive aspect of his game," Horwill said.

"Everyone can see the skill that he's got - the ability to pass, beat defenders and take the ball to the line.

"He's not a big guy but he's very brave. He's calm under pressure and can control individuals around him.

"The exciting thing is that he will get a lot better. At the moment he's only scratching the surface.

"We must allow him to develop his rugby. He's an 18-year-old kid who loves playing rugby and that's the way we want to keep it."

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