The fly-half helped sparked Harlequins’ revival and is now joining the Lions squad

A roller-coaster season for Marcus Smith

“A dream come true” is how Marcus Smith described his British & Irish Lions call-up – and it’s just one of many standout moments the 22-year-old fly-half has enjoyed over recent months.

In the space of three weeks, he has helped Harlequins win the Gallagher Premiership title, made his England debut and been asked to join up with the famous touring side.

Related: Meet Harlequins half-backs Danny Care and Marcus Smith

Yet when head of rugby Paul Gustard departed Quins in January, it was a very different story.

Quins were seventh in the league having won just one of the first five fixtures they played and hadn’t won at home since August. They had also been thumped 49-7 by Racing 92 at the Stoop in the European Champions Cup in December.

Since then Smith has been at the heart of Quins’ revival and individual honours have followed. He was voted RPA Young Player of the Year, picked up the Premiership’s ‘Golden Boot’ trophy for his goalkicking feats and has now been called up for the Lions.

Here is a reminder of Smith’s achievements over the past three months.

A roller-coaster season for Marcus Smith

24 April 2021 – Late winner

Smith jinked through the London Irish defence to score the winning try in the last minute of their Premiership fixture. The 25-21 win was crucial to their push for the play-offs.

9 May 2021 – Another late winner

Smith was Quins’ saviour again, scoring and converting an injury-time try to seal a 48-46 victory over Wasps at the Stoop. He scored 28 points overall in that match.

29 May 2021 – Play-off spot booked

Quins booked their place in the Premiership semi-finals for the first time in seven years with a 44-33 victory over Bath. Smith kicked 14 points in the win.

19 June 2021 – Comeback kings

Quins staged the greatest comeback in Premiership history in their semi-final against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.

They trailed 28-0 after half an hour but recovered to make it 31-31 after 80 minutes. It was Smith’s conversion of Joe Marchant’s try, which he had helped create, that drew the scores level.

Then Quins scored two more tries in extra-time to win 43-38 and go through to the final to face Exeter.

26 June 2021 – Champions!

The final was equally as dramatic, with the lead changing hands five times, and the fly-half was crucial in Quins winning 40-38 to lift the trophy for the first time since 2012.

Smith’s early kick to the corner from a penalty resulted in a try from a driving maul and he also set up both of Louis Lynagh’s second-half tries, one with a delayed pass and one with his goose step as he took the ball to the line.

4 July 2021 – England bow

Having first been called into the England set-up as an 18-year-old in 2017, Smith finally made his Test debut against the USA at Twickenham on Independence Day.

He marked the occasion by scoring 13 points, including a try, in a 43-29 victory.

10 July 2021 – Lions call-up

News of Smith’s call-up to the British & Irish Lions 2021 squad broke as the fly-half was helping England to a 70-14 victory over Canada in which he kicked nine conversions.

The player himself found out when taken into the tunnel after being substituted and he was still stunned by the news when interviewed on TV.

11 July 2021 – Change of plans

Smith was due to attend the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley with Ugo Monye but is now flying out to join up with the Lions in Cape Town.

Who knows what other highlights await him over the next few weeks in South Africa…

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