English rugby has always been an area of intense competition, and the position of the fly-half is one that has seen many talented players over the years. Recently, however, the fierce competition has been between two young players: Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith. They both have been playing exceptionally well for their respective clubs and have also been a regular fixture in Eddie Jones’ England squad. But, who will win the battle to become England’s first-choice at the crease?
Owen Farrell, born in 1991 in Manchester, made his debut for England at the age of just 20. Since then, he has become one of the most reliable and consistent performers for England. Farrell has played 97 games for England, including 86 starts, which is exceptional for someone who is still only 30 years old. He has also scored 940 points for England, which puts him at number two on the all-time list for England behind the legendary Johnny Wilkinson. Farrell has also led England in several tests and is currently captaining the side.
On the other hand, Marcus Smith, born in 1999 in the London Borough of Harrow, has been an exceptional talent ever since he made his debut for Harlequins at the age of just 18. He has been regularly putting in outstanding performances for Harlequins ever since. In the 2020-21 season, he scored 259 points in 24 appearances, which included 13 starts in the Premiership. He also played a crucial role in Harlequin’s Premiership triumph that season. Smith was rewarded for his performances when he received his first call-up to the England squad and went on to make his debut for England in July 2021.
When it comes to the style of play, Farrell is more of an old-school fly-half, who relies on his tactical kicking and game management to control the game. He is also an excellent goal-kicker, which adds an extra dimension to his play. In contrast, Smith is more of the modern-day fly-half, who is known for his creativity and attacking flair. He has a great eye for a pass and can often create something out of nothing. He is also an excellent goal-kicker, which is an essential weapon in his arsenal.
However, when it comes to defence, Farrell is easily the better of the two. He is known for his bone-crunching hits and is one of the most aggressive defenders in the England squad. He is also an excellent reader of the game and can often anticipate opposition attacks before they happen. Smith, on the other hand, is still very young, and his defence is an area that needs improvement. He has been working on his tackling technique and has made good progress in that regard.
When it comes to physical attributes, Farrell is a bigger and more robust player than Smith. He stands at 6ft 2in and weighs 99kg, making him one of the most imposing fly-halves in world rugby. Smith, on the other hand, is smaller in stature, standing at 5ft 10in and weighing 81kg. However, despite his smaller size, Smith is lightning fast and has quick feet, which enables him to change direction quickly and evade defenders with ease.
The battle to become England’s first choice fly-half will be won on current form and consistency. Farrell has been a consistent performer for England over the years and has been one of their key players. He has been excellent for Saracens and has also been a crucial player for the British and Irish Lions over the years. However, Smith is the more exciting of the two players and has been in phenomenal form for Harlequins.
In conclusion, it is difficult to say who will win the battle to become England’s first choice fly-half, as both Farrell and Smith have their strengths and weaknesses. However, with the Rugby World Cup coming up in 2023, it is an exciting time for English rugby with Farrell and Smith battling it out to become the first choice at the crease. It is a competition that will only benefit England and will ensure that they have two exceptionally talented fly-halves pushing each other to perform at their very best. Whatever the outcome may be, it is sure to be an interesting and exciting time for English rugby.