Injured in the calf at the start of the week during training in Girona, Marcus Smith does not appear on the match sheet for England, which begins its Six Nations Tournament against Italy on Saturday (3:15 p.m.). George Ford will officiate at the opening, with the young Fin Smith on the bench.
“We have received the scan report but we are waiting to understand exactly what it means going forward. We are waiting for a second opinion,” said Kevin Sinfield, assistant coach of the XV de la Rose. The player has since returned to England to take several exams.
“We don’t know when he’s going to come back,” coach Steve Borthwick said at a press conference. We hope to see him before the end of the Tournament. This will take several weeks. But we don’t know the number of weeks.” His long-term withdrawal would be a real blow for the English, who would have liked to install the Harlequins fly-half as number 10 after Owen Farrell's decision to abandon the tournament to preserve his mental health.