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'He's gutted. I'm sure the club will go balls-out to defend him as much as we can'

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Marcus Smith orchestrated a last-gasp 48-46 victory for Harlequins over Wasps and was then told he would have won 50 caps by now had he been playing for Wales.


Former Wales and Lions prop Adam Jones, now assistant coach at Twickenham Stoop, saw Smith deliver a virtuoso display that included a 28-point haul as Quins overcame the 44th-minute dismissal of Mike Brown to win in stoppage time.

Smith was at the heart of home defiance and in the last six minutes he rifled over a penalty and converted his own try to break Wasps’ hearts – all in front of Eddie Jones who was watching from the stands.

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Eddie Jones has yet to cap the 22-year-old England prospect or even call him into his wider squads since 2019 when he was labelled an ‘apprentice’ player, but Adam Jones insists he must be involved in the summer Tests against the United States and Canada.

“Looking at him last year, it was a question of whether managing a game was his strong point. We always knew he runs the ball and takes it to the line well, but he’s an all-round player now,” Adam Jones said.

“He’s a great goal-kicker, his line kicking is outstanding and his game management is outstanding.

“He’s got to be on the England tour. He’s got to be the future. He’s a young kid but is growing all the time.


“He was chatted about with the Lions squad, so (Lions coach) Warren Gatland has obviously seen something special in him as well. He was brilliant against Wasps.

“It’s a pleasure having an outside-half like that. I’ve got to be honest, if he was Welsh he would have 50 caps by now. He’s very much of the Welsh outside-half ilk. Hopefully he gets picked in the summer and I’m sure he’ll do a grand job.”

Quins’ victory was marred by the red card show to Brown for stamping on Tommy Taylor, who was holding him at a ruck, in an offence that could be his last act at Twickenham Stoop.

Stamping on the head carries a minimum ban of six games, meaning the end of the Newcastle-bound full-back’s Harlequins career unless they reach the play-offs and the disciplinary hearing shows leniency.


“In those situations when you’re being held in it can look a lot worse than it was. There was a lot going on as it happened,” Adam Jones said.

“Let’s wait until next week and see what happens. He’s gutted. I’m sure the club will go balls-out to defend him as much as we can.

“Hopefully common sense prevails and the different issues with it come through.”

Crestfallen Wasps boss Lee Blackett questioned how his team lost the game after taking control once Brown had been shown his red card.

“You can’t come to the Stoop and score 46 points and lose the game. I want to be sat here being really positive about the things that have gone well, but we can’t because we’ve conceded 48 points to lose a game,” Blackett said.

“It wasn’t just the last 10 minutes, it was throughout the game. Our defence fell off a cliff.”


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