Six Nations 2023: England’s Marcus Smith Relishing ‘Free Swing’ At Ireland In Finale



Six Nations 2023: England's Marcus Smith relishing 'free swing' at Ireland in finale

Fly-half Marcus Smith says England are relishing a “free swing” at Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in the Six Nations finale after the dismal France defeat.

England were thrashed 53-10 by France in a record Twickenham loss on Saturday and now travel to Dublin to face the world number one side.

Should they lose again, they will come away from the Six Nations with two wins for the third successive tournament.

“We’re in a tough period at the minute and it’s perfect for us,” Smith said.

“We’ve got to get better quickly because the challenge doesn’t come much greater than Ireland away in Dublin.

“There’s only one way to go now and that’s to stand up and fight as hard as we can and play as hard as we can for the shirt.

“We’ve spoken about sticking together because there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of pressure on us. We’ve got to become tighter as opposed to splinter.

“This is a big test of our togetherness as a squad and of our resolve. There’s no better week for this than a free swing at Ireland.”

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England will be without starting centre Ollie Lawrence on Saturday because of a hamstring injury, with Manu Tuilagi and Guy Porter in line to fill the gap.

Ireland are missing Garry Ringrose and Iain Henderson, but remain overwhelming favourites to win the Grand Slam.

With the World Cup starting in September, England have been rebuilding through this tournament under new head coach Steve Borthwick and Smith, who took captain Owen Farrell’s place in the starting side last weekend, said: “I believe we’ve still got time.

“With the characters we’ve got in the group we can turn things around very quickly.

“We’ll look at our individual performances and team performance because, with where we want to go in the next six months and in the years ahead, that wasn’t good enough.”

Source – BBC Sport



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