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Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith returns to England squad ahead of France match | Rugby Union News

Marcus Smith returns to the England squad for their upcoming Six Nations match with France after starring in Harlequins’ victory over Exeter on Saturday

Last Updated: 05/03/23 7:26pm

Marcus Smith is back in the England set-up ahead of their game against France

Steve Borthwick has recalled Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith to his 36-player squad for England’s upcoming Six Nations match with France.

Smith had been released from the England set-up and made available for Quins last week as Borthwick underlined his need for “game time” at club level.

The 24-year-old notably starred in his side’s 40-5 victory over Exeter on Saturday, setting up two tries and missing just one place kick with Borthwick and England attack coach Nick Evans in attendance.

“Marcus did exactly what Steve Borthwick asked of him,” said Tabai Matson. “When I spoke to Steve on Sunday, he said he wanted Marcus to come back, boss the game and get some minutes.

“Ultimately, his success at international level has been underpinned by what he has done here. Our attack system’s nearly built around him and for him to slot back in and find space, whether it be run, kick or pass, just shows you what a rare talent he is.”

There is a return to the squad for tighthead Joe Heyes after he had lost his place in the wake of Will Stuart’s return to fitness and with Leicester Tigers team-mate Dan Cole having come off the bench in each of the last three England games.

Full England squad:

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 98 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 3 caps), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 12 caps), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 46 caps), Jamie George (Saracens, 75 caps), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 10 caps), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 65 caps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 17 caps), David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 3 caps), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 59 caps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 77 caps), Jack Walker (Harlequins, 2 caps), Jack Willis (Toulouse, 8 caps).

Backs: Henry Arundell (London Irish, 5 caps), Owen Farrell (Saracens, 104 caps), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 caps), George Ford (Sale Sharks, 81 caps), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 10 caps), Max Malins (Saracens, 17 caps), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 14 caps), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 3 caps), Cadan Murley (Harlequins, uncapped), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 54 caps), Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 20 caps), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 50 caps), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps), Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps).

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