England's Marcus Smith to replace Finn Russell in British & Irish Lions squad

Harlequins' Marcus Smith helped his side secure the Premiership title and made his international debut for England last weekend against the United States. RFU/Getty Images

The British & Irish Lions have called up England's Marcus Smith for the tour of South Africa as cover for Finn Russell, who will have to wear a moon boot for the next week after suffering an achilles injury.

The Lions made the announcement as Smith was mid-way through his second test appearance for England as they beat Canada 70-14 on Saturday, after which he will fly out to meet up with the squad, and Smith, admitted he is "shaking" at the prospect of realising a rugby dream.

The 22-year-old has been rewarded for an excellent season with Harlequins, who he helped to a thrilling Premiership final victory over Exeter Chiefs last month.

Minutes after the end of England's victory, Smith was interviewed pitchside at Twickenham and said: "I can't believe it -- I got told about 10 minutes ago. Eddie [Jones] told me it's a special thing. I'm still shaking. It's amazing. It will be special, a dream come true for sure if I get the opportunity.

"It's been a brilliant last couple of weeks and couldn't have done it without my family and my team mates. I don't think it will sink in until I get back from the Lions, I'll have to pinch myself on the plane."

The rest of the England squad lined up behind Smith to give him a round of applause, singing "Lions."

The flyhalf had been due to attend Wembley on Sunday for England's Euro 2020 final against Italy, but said: "I think I'll get on the plane instead," before predicting a 2-0 win for Gareth Southgate's team.

Smith, who was born in the Philippines, made his international debut against the United States last weekend and will be the fourth flyhalf with the Lions, along with Russell, whose injury is not thought to be tour ending, England's Owen Farrell and Welshman Dan Biggar.

England coach Jones believes there is much to admire in the youngster, even if he is still a raw talent.

"He's got a good feel for the game, he sees space. There are bits and pieces to work on his game, he's got a way to go, but Dan Carter was at his best at 33," he said.

Meanwhile flyhalf Finn Russell could yet be sent home tour of South Africa, coach Warren Gatland said on Saturday.

"He had an injection today, it's not a strained Achilles but rather a small, slight tear and it's going to keep him out for the next couple of weeks," Gatland said. "We are going to try and see if we can rehab him. He's going to be in a boot for the next five days and when he comes out of that he'll have some more treatment and if he is making good progress then we'll assess him going forward. If he is not, then there is a possibility he may go home.

"It's a wait-and-see situation with him," Gatland added, who did not explain how the injury happened.

The Lions tour has been disrupted by COVID-19 cases among their opponents with the team to play the Sharks later on Saturday in a repeat of their midweek 54-7 win.

After that they will move down to Cape Town, where it is now likely all three tests will be played.