Fly-half for England Marcus Smith claims that Owen Farrell, the injured captain, has been “helping me big time behind the scenes” during his first Six Nations.
Coach Eddie Jones has selected the 94-cap veteran to mentor Harlequins rookie Smith this season.
Despite the fact that Farrell was later ruled out, he continues to communicate with Smith, who turned 23 on Monday and has been England’s best player.
“His feedback is massively important to me,”
“I’ve learnt a lot from him, in the autumn and summer as well. We’ve got a good relationship and it’s a shame he can’t be here.
“He’s been watching the games and we’ve been chatting about things I’ve been feeling in training, as well as how I feel in games.”
Due to Farrell’s absence, Leicester fly-half George Ford has had more opportunities in midfield, and he came on during Sunday’s 33-0 triumph over Italy, with Smith switching to inside centre for only the second time in his career.
Smith had scored four tries in seven Tests, including a try in England’s 20-17 loss to Scotland.
Speaking to BBC Sport’s Sara Orchard, he said:
“It’s been brilliant to be able to pick George’s brains and learn from him, both on and off the field, in his preparation as well as his detail in training.”
“I really enjoyed it [playing at 12]. It was a different way to see the game and it was good to get on the field together.
“I’ve done it once in a game but he does it about five times a game so he’s been helping me with that and my game management. We’ve been bouncing ideas off each other and we’ve got a like mind for the game so it’s been exciting working with him.”