With England’s first Six Nations match against Italy just over three days away, Steve Borthwick will have been hoping for an uneventful week leading up to the occasion.
Unfortunately for the England head coach, a Marcus Smith shaped spanner appears to have been thrown straight in the works.
Gingerly walking out of training in Girona today, Smith was reportedly sent for a scan on a potential leg injury after pulling up after a jogging exercise.
“I have heard nothing about what he has done. Hopefully it is very precautionary,” Richard Wigglesworth said about the now ‘crutched-up’ Smith.
“The medical staff here are generally like that. I have not been updated on that since I have been back, but if he is not it would definitely be a blow for us.
“It wasn’t a big incident, that’s why I was hoping it was nothing much. He was just jogging, it was never extensive, but he pulled up and happened to be right next to a physio when he did it by the sideline, so they just walked off after that.”
England have been hit with a series of injuries prior to the tournament, with Ollie Lawrence, Luke Cowan-Dickie, George Martin, Manu Tuilagi, Nick Isiekwe and Oscar Beard all already out of the match in Rome, and Tom Curry, Jack van Poortvliet and Bevan Rodd all ruled out for the duration of the tournament.
If Marcus Smith is indeed ruled out for a large period of time, then the fly half debate comes down to the experience of George Ford versus the excitement of young playmaker Finn Smith.