Marcus Smith's rapid rise shows no signs of slowing down - it took the talented fly-half barely a year to go from captaining Brighton College in an unbeaten season to being involved in Eddie Jones' senior England squads.
Having led England in the U18 International Festival in Wales in April 2016, Smith won four caps at that level and, ten days after his 18th birthday in February 2017, shared in the national U20 team’s 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington.
He became the second-youngest Aviva Premiership debutant in history, behind fellow No.10 George Ford, when making his Harlequins debut against London Irish aged 18 years and 200 days in September 2017 and was named as an apprentice in the England party for the Old Mutual Wealth series that autumn.
That England apprenticeship role is one he also filled for the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations when Jones named his 35-man squad in January.
Add his leadership of the Harlequins U18 side to their victory over Sale Sharks in the academy final last February and Marcus has to take a deep breath to take in the reality of his ascent.
He said: “I’ve been at Quins with my mates since I was 13 so that success alongside this group of lads was brilliant.”
He was born in Manila in the Philippines, took up the game when seven with Centaurs RFC in Singapore and studied maths, politics and business at Brighton College. He has been with the Brighton club, where his dad Jeremy played before moving to Asia and appearing for the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Marcus said: “He inspired me to get on to the pitch and practise hard while my mum Suzanne tells me straight up what she thinks and whether I have done her proud. My Brighton College coach Nick Buoy has also helped me with my kicking and understanding of the game. I fought my way into the England U16 set-up, having been given the opportunity to play for the North at that level when I wasn’t chosen for the London & South-East side.”
Growing up, he played a lot of football, has scored a hundred on the cricket field and supports Brighton & Hove Albion FC. His best rugby experience so far was his debut for the England U20 team and his list of rugby-playing friends is headed by Josh Wright, of Bristol, who played alongside him in Singapore and James Purbrick at Brighton College.
He has two younger brothers Luc and Tomas and his top holiday venue is the Philippines. His foodie favourite is spaghetti carbonara while Great Escape, Peaky Blinders and Prison Break are his top ranking film and TV shows. FIFA leads the way in the video game list of someone who regards himself as ‘chilled, ambitious and cheeky’.
U20 International Record
U18 International Record
28 points – 2T, 9C
2017 F, C, I, S
Last updated: 18 January 2018