Marcus Smith's ecstatic live TV reaction to his Lions call-up
Marcus Smith has described his elation at getting called up by the Lions on Saturday as cover for the injured Finn Russell. The title-winning Harlequins out-half walked down the Twickenham tunnel after 65 minutes of England’s 70-14 win over Canada to be told he would be flying to South Africa to link up with Warren Gatland’s squad.
The news capped an incredible few weeks for the 23-year-old. Firstly, he inspired Harlequins to playoff wins over Bristol and Exeter to lift the English league title and he has now played impressively in the first two caps of his England career, debuting last Sunday versus the USA and running the show against Canada six days later.
Smith’s Lions call-up has come at a price, though. He was due to be going to Wembley on Sunday with Ugo Monye to watch the England footballers in the Euro 2020 final versus Italy but he will now be bound for South Africa.
“I don’t think it will really sink in until I get back from the Lions tour,” said Smith on Channel 4 shortly after full-time at Twickenham. “I’ll have to pinch myself a little when I am on the plane but when I get back I think I’ll spend a lot of time with my family, my brothers, and let the last five, six weeks sink in.
“I can’t believe what is happening at the minute. The last four weeks have been brilliant, the last four weeks I will never forget for sure. It will be special. It’s a dream come true. It’s the pinnacle for any young England player, it will be a dream come true if I get the opportunity (to play for the Lions).”
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) July 10, 2021
Asked by Joe Marler for his prediction for the football final, Smith replied: England are going to win 2-0.” He then started singing, “It’s coming home, it’s coming home…” before getting surrounded by his England rugby teammates to celebrate his Lions call-up. “I’m not sure how Covid safe this is considering he is meant to be getting on the plane soon,” quipped Marler, who was working as a TV pundit. “Stop hugging him, get away.”
England boss Eddie Jones added: “He [Smith] has got a good feel for the game, he sees space. There are bits and pieces he has got to work on like any ten. Dan Carter was at his best at 35 and he is only 23. He still has a way to go.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 10, 2021
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