EDDIE JONES has been urged to take a chance on Marcus Smith for the World Cup.

Fly-half Smith, from Brighton, has been backed by former Ireland and Barbarians flanker Kieron Dawson as an X factor selection for England’s head coach.

Smith, 20, was man-of-the-match in front of the watching Jones with a 26-point haul for an England XV in their 51-43 victory over the Barbarians on Sunday.

Rugby Football Union pathway performance coach Jim Mallinder said Smith had pressed his claims for inclusion in England’s World Cup training squad which will be announced on July 4 and Dawson reckons a place in the final party for the tournament in September is not unthinkable.

Dawson, who played at the 1999 World Cup, knows all about Smith as he coached him at Brighton College before he signed a professional deal with Harlequins.

Dawson told The Argus: “The coaches will have a fair idea of the starting XV, so that leaves the bench.

“He doesn’t seem to have any love for Danny Cipriani, so why not bring someone who has an X factor - and Marcus certainly has that.

“If he is a third choice No.10, then the chances of playing a lot of rugby are not there, but it would be a massive experience for him to go out and be involved in the World Cup because in four years’ time he probably will be England’s No.10.”

Former Worthing Raiders head coach Dawson has seen first hand that bringing in a prospect can pay off.

He said: “When I went to the World Cup in 1999, Warren Gatland was the coach and he brought Gordon D’Arcy a long, while Brian O’Driscoll was in his infancy as a player, and we all know how those two ended up.

“Those two went on to partner Ireland in the centre for years so you can see it is a good experience for these guys.

“Also, I don’t know if Owen Farrell is your man if you want to chase a game, so why not bring the X factor? Marcus would be that.”

Rugby master at Brighton College Nick Buoy is delighted with the way Smith has stayed grounded amid all the praise since grabbing the headlines with Harlequins and being tipped for big things.

Although Buoy was delighted with Smith’s performance he admitted that was not what has impressed him most about his rise.

Buoy said: “To be honest, we are sort of prouder with the way he is dealing with the fame and the accolades. We’re proud of the way he is coming across in the interviews and he is taking it all in his stride.

“As a teacher and a school, you feel proud you were able to help him deal with that side of things.

“He is obviously, a very talented sportsman and it is brilliant he is doing what he is doing.

“To see him bossing people around, leading all the talks and telling people what to do with far more experienced than him is brilliant. We love seeing that.”