England They’ll face their team against France at lunch on Thursday, and Owen Farrell’s position will kick in at halftime under threat from Marcus Smith.

defense coach Kevin Sinfield after the fascinating man of the match show for clowns against Exeter On Saturday, Smith is “in the mix” to be named circus master for the penultimate round of Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham.

Here, the PA news agency examines both players’ claim to the #10 jersey.

Owen Farrell

Position: Fly-half/inside centerClub: SaracensAge: 31Caps: 104Debut: against Scotland, 2012Points: 1.142Height: 6’2Weight: 14. 11lbs

The England captain started at halftime against Italy and Wales, but failed to show up in either game, despite being brought back to his preferred position and not being at center where he spent the majority of his Test career. Add in a goalkeeping success rate of just 47 percent for these Six Nations, and it’s clear that the British and Irish Lions star isn’t shooting all the cylinders. While he excels at recruiting and offloading defenders, his offensive play lacks the dynamism that Smith brings. His leadership and competitive spirit has been essential to England for over a decade, bringing steel to channel 10 in defence.

marcus smith

Position: Fly-halfClub: HarlequinsAge: 24Caps: 20Debut: vs USA, 2021Points: 156Height: 1’9ā€¯Weight: 12. 13lbs

Of the three quarterbacks vying for the role of headmaster – George Ford completes the trio – Smith is the strongest in attack, both as an individual threat and with his ability to unleash the players around him. So far, Test debuts have mostly come with Farrell positioned in-center, but the talented Harlequin would enjoy the prospect of playing 12-year-old spoiler Ollie Lawrence. If given the chance to step out of Farrell’s shadow, his lack of bulk makes him a target, although generals and fireworks are paramount and stubborn on defense.