Eddie: Smith is not a full back
Eddie Jones sent a strong message to his successor as england head coach yesterday, insisting Marcus smith is not an international full back.
smith — a fly-half by trade who was given his test debut by Jones — started in the no 15 shirt in england’s World cup knockout games against Fiji and argentina.
steve Borthwick’s side finished third in France, but Jones believes that for smith and england to continue to develop, he must be picked as a primary playmaker.
‘Marcus is 24. he has got a lot of learning to do but unless he plays he never gets that learning,’ Jones said in cardiff ahead of coaching the Barbarians against Wales on saturday. ‘at some stage you have to take a bit of pain if you play a guy like him. he is a good player, a very good player, but he is not a full back.
‘that is up to steve but if you want to develop him as a player of course he has to play 10.’
speaking to the Up Front with Simon Jordan podcast, Jones added of smith: ‘he is reasonably good at club level. he’s not a superstar yet. he’s a promising young player. at test level, these instinctive players take time to mature.
‘We’ll see over the next two years whether or not Marcus has what it takes to go as far as his potential suggests he can.’
australia flopped in France but Jones reiterated he had no regrets over his exit less than 12 months into a five-year deal.
after his controversial departure, Jones said: ‘sometimes you have to eat s*** for others to eat caviar.’
the comment saw him widely criticised, with Mail Sport columnist sir clive Woodward describing them as ‘pathetic’ and ‘embarrassing’.
Jones responded: ‘Why should i have any regrets? the disappointing thing for me was i had a vision about what needed to be done and the two parties weren’t able to come to an agreement. i don’t want to work for someone like that again because it’s so hard.’
Jones ruled himself out of coaching the British & irish Lions against australia in 2025. he is expected to join Japan but refused to confirm that. ‘i had my go with england, i loved coaching england, but i wouldn’t want to be involved in the Lions — not at all,’ he said.