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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Alex Spink

England new boy Cadan Murley further stakes claim for debut against Scotland

Nick Evans starts work coaching England on Monday with the talk about how Marcus Smith stands to benefit.

Rather less has been made of the significance Evans’ appointment as attack coach has for Cadan Murley.

The former All Black is rightly known for being Smith’s mentor at Harlequins, the fly-half of yesterday shaping the No.10 of today and tomorrow.

But the progress of Murley, until recently Smith’s house mate, has been almost as notable under Evans’ watchful eye.

The 23-year old’s spectacular try against Northampton in October, en route to equalling the Premiership record of 19 tries in a calendar year, was one of the great finishes of this or any other season.

Against South African side Sharks on Saturday he bagged his 10th of another hugely impressive campaign as Quins reached the Champions Cup last-16 by running out 39-29 winners.

Little wonder Murley, an equally sound defender, is one of five uncapped players in Steve Borthwick’s squad and has strong claims to make his debut at home to Scotland on Saturday week.

"Cadan can beat defenders in the smallest space possible,” said England’s new head coach of a player who, unsurprisingly, grew up idolising Jason Robinson.

Murley has been flying for Harlequins (CameraSport via Getty Images)

“He has that power to be able to come off both feet and then accelerate in such a small space.”

Murley caught Eddie Jones’ eye in the autumn, training with the squad without ever making it to matchday. The upcoming Six Nations could be his time.

“I’m massively excited to get into England camp,” the Surrey-born flyer said. “It’s a step up in intensity but that’s something I relish. I’m not fazed by it. I look forward to testing myself against the other best in the country.”

Having Evans call the shots and close pal Smith alongside will only smooth his progress. Against Sharks their inate understanding was clear for all to see.

Evans is joining Steve Borthwick's coaching team at Twickenham (CameraSport via Getty Images)

“Nick’s big word all week was ‘anticipate’; anticipate that we’ll make a break because we’ve got special players,” said Murley.

“Andre [Esterhuizen] and Dommers [Alex Dombrandt] can make an offload, Marcus can make something out of nothing. For us wingers it’s about anticipation to try to get on the end of things.”

The hallmark of England’s attack in the last days of Jones was muddled thinking. Evans, Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield are promising to bring clarity.

Murley believes he has improved since his last call-up (PA)

Murley insists he is better than when Jones first called him up and that not being capped in November dented neither his belief nor his ambition.

“I was training with England, putting on the Red Rose every week,” he said. “That’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life so I didn’t take any frustrations from that.

“It was an opportunity to improve and I picked up things from different people. We’ll see what happens this time round.”

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