Saturday, July 20, 2024

New Zealand vs England: Marcus Smith and Fin Smith ‘singing from same hymnsheet’ for dream of win vs All Blacks -Dlight News

England fly-half Marcus Smith says being part of a winning tour of New Zealand would be “a dream come true” – even if Fin Smith starts at No 10 – as he gets set for the first of two Tests against the All Blacks.

The two Smiths are working together in the England camp, with the opening Test in Dunedin on Saturday, live on Sky Sports from 7.30am, while competing for the fly-half jersey at the same time.

However, Marcus Smith does not see that there is any competition between the two, but rather they are making sure they are “singing off the same hymnsheet” in order to guide the team around the park and secure the “dream” win.

Marcus Smith will start for the side at No 10 on Saturday, with Fin Smith the option from the bench.

“Personally, I don’t see it as me against Fin. To be a part of this tour I am truly grateful,” Marcus Smith told Sky Sports.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Fin the last three or four weeks. Obviously he has had a tremendous year for Northampton and England and I have enjoyed picking his brains, asking him different questions.

“For me, to be a part of a tour where we win in New Zealand would be a dream come true and I know Fin is of the same mindset as well.

“As long as, as 10, me and Fin are singing off the same hymnsheet, delivering the messages that we both believe will help the team score tries and get points, then we are both happy.”

Marcus Smith has been around the England set-up since 2021, making 31 appearances, and had the luxury of learning from a lot of very experienced players, none more so than England’s record points scorer, Owen Farrell.

Now, he is open, ready, and willing to help guide Fin Smith as much as he can as his England journey takes off.

“I am getting a bit older, I am very lucky to have been a part of this England set-up for a while now,” he added.

“I have been an apprentice in this environment learning off guys like Owen Farrell, George Ford, Danny Cipriani.

“A lot of the experiences have made me the person and player I am today.

“If Fin ever asks me any questions, I am always very open and I try and be as open as I can.”

Smith: Our attack is improving with every game

England head into the two-match series against the All Blacks off the back of a strong showing against France in the Six Nations, a massive victory over Ireland, and also a win against Wales. They then beat Japan 52-17 in Tokyo last month.

Those games showed marked improvements from how England had been playing, with attack a key worry for fans as tries were few and far between.

Rugby Union internationals live on Sky Sports this Saturday
Image:
Rugby union internationals live on Sky Sports this Saturday

For Marcus Smith, England’s “aggressive” attacking mindset is something that has clicked for the group in recent weeks and they are ready to show they can implement it against one of the best teams in the world come Saturday.

“I think we’re developing a super strong set-piece. I think our defence has really improved in the last year and a half and I feel our mindset from an attacking point of view has improved as well,” he said.

“I think we showed glimpses of that last time [in the win over Japan] and in games against Ireland, France and Wales.

“The last three games of the Six Nations we made a conscious effort to be aggressive, both sides of the ball and ever since I came back into camp for this summer tour, I think that was the mindset – around building excitement.

“I think that’s really resonated with this group. And we had a really good game against a very good Japanese team last week and I think we implemented some of those things.

“Obviously we know that playing the All Blacks this weekend, here and in their home nation, is going to be a tough test but it’s one that we’re really excited for, and hopefully we can show the best of ourselves against the best of them as well.”

England have made just two changes to the side that faced Japan, with Joe Marler and Will Stuart moved to the front-row, replacing Bevan Rodd and Dan Cole.

Watch England against New Zealand live on Saturday from 7.30am on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Main Event (8.05am kick-off). Stream rugby’s summer internationals in 2024 and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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