Owen Farrell backs England captain for World Cup despite emergence of Marcus Smith

“Everyone has a lifespan, but Owen is not at the end of his. I can’t see him not playing “

Dylan Hartley expects Owen Farrell to be England’s World Cup captain despite the meteoric rise of rival playmaker Marcus Smith.

Clamor is growing for Smith to start halfway through the Fall Internationals at Twickenham next month.

The Harlequin has had a sensational 2021 year, largely in tandem with teammate André Esterhuizen, whose wrecking qualities inside the center have given the 22-year-old space to exploit.

Manu Tuilagi offers those same powerful qualities in the England setup and a Smith-Tuilagi-Henry Slade midfielder has tantalizing potential.

But Hartley can’t see an England team heading to the World Cup without Farrell at the helm.

“I would love to see England give Marcus a chance,” said Hartley, whose winning percentage as captain of Red Rose is surpassed only by Martin Johnson.








Hartley: “I would love to see England try Marcus”
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“It would be really daring, a show of confidence and a show to everyone of how they want to move this team forward.

“It’s justified. Marcus does all the silky flash stuff that captures Instagram reels and YouTube highlights, but his basics are pretty solid as well.

“But that doesn’t mean Owen isn’t on the team. I don’t think we should be catastrophic and alarmist around Owen’s position.








Dylan Hartley (right) with Farrell and Eddie Jones in 2018
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Smith leaves Bristol for dead in stunning return to action for Harlequins
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“He played 10 and 12 and showed he has the ability to play with the front foot, to attack rugby. For me England is at its best with two distributors. “

Hartley has won two-thirds of his 97 caps alongside Farrell, who succeeded him as captain, so he’s well qualified to judge what his former teammate brings to the squad.

“Owen sets an incredible example,” he said of a player in a cap of his century for England and the Lions.








Farrell led England to Fall Nations Cup triumph a year ago
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“He is your accomplished professional in terms of diligence, training, preparation. He adds so much on and off the pitch.

“Everyone has a lifespan, but Owen is not at the end of his. I don’t see him not playing. At the moment, I see no way that he is not (World Cup captain). “

There’s no guarantee with Jones, who caused a stir by dropping opener George Ford for last month’s mini training camp.








On your Owen: Farrell didn’t start a test for Lions in South Africa
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He swears by Farrell, but so do the Lions before this summer. The Saracens ace did not start in the South African series and was excluded from the squad for the final test.

But Hartley said, “Owen has credit in the bank with Eddie. Just because Marcus is playing so well doesn’t mean Owen is gone. I would love to see them play together. “

Jones names his fall squad on Monday ahead of a test series against Tonga, Australia and South Africa that begins on November 6.

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