'Oh s***!' - England hopeful reacts to Steve Borthwick's appearance

Northampton Saints fly-half, Fin Smith, has expressed his desire to make his debut for the England national team after catching the attention of head coach Steve Borthwick. The 21-year-old delivered a superb performance in Northampton's 34-19 victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership on Sunday, earning himself the man of the match award.

Smith revealed that he had spotted Borthwick, who was in attendance at the match. He said, "I saw Steve on the big screen and thought, 'oh s**t!'. He dropped me a nice message after the game to say he thought it went well, which was good." Smith set several goals for himself at the beginning of the season, and at the top of that list was earning a cap for England this season. He acknowledged that his primary focus should be performing well for his club, but he remained hopeful that his efforts would be recognized by Borthwick.

The England fly-half position is currently well-stocked, with Owen Farrell, George Ford, and Marcus Smith all strong contenders for the 2024 Six Nations. Despite also qualifying for Scotland through his parents, Smith is determined to represent England. He has already been included in extended training squads during the 2023 Six Nations and World Cup preparations.

Smith acknowledged the quality of the fly-halves ahead of him, stating, "There are some brilliant fly-halves ahead of me in Owen, George, and Marcus, but if the opportunity came, I'd be delighted and more than ready to go." Since joining Saints after Worcester's financial collapse last season, he has been focused on improving his game. He added, "I've got so many things I need to keep working at to get to the level of Owen, George, and Marcus. I've just got to focus on playing well. Selection, if I get picked, would be great; if not, I'll just keep working hard. Hopefully, I'll get there eventually."

During his camp with England ahead of the World Cup, Smith received valuable feedback from Borthwick and his coaching staff. Although he was eventually cut from the squad, he was provided with a clear understanding of what he needs to do to challenge the current hierarchy. Smith shared, "Steve has given me the feedback that I have a strong kicking game, and I can manage a game quite well." He also highlighted the importance of finding a balance between Northampton's running style and incorporating his kicking abilities. Smith has been working diligently this season to improve his decision-making regarding when to run and when to utilize his kicking game.

In conclusion, Fin Smith's impressive performance for Northampton Saints has put him on the radar of England head coach Steve Borthwick. The talented fly-half is determined to earn an England cap this season, despite the strong competition in that position. Smith is focused on continuously improving his skills and is keen to showcase his abilities on the international stage.

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