Ryan Lamb urges England not to put pressure on Marcus Smith

Ryan Lamb has urged England not to rush the development of Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith. Henry Browne/Getty Images

Ryan Lamb has urged England to let Marcus Smith develop at his own pace into a "world-class" player.

La Rochelle fly-half Lamb outwitted 18-year-old Smith as the French side edged Harlequins 34-27 in Saturday's Champions Cup clash at The Stoop.

Smith is already on track for Test stardom after being promoted into Eddie Jones' England ranks -- but former Gloucester fly-half Lamb has warned against pushing the rising star too far too soon.

"He's a class player -- we saw that straight away when we watched him on TV in the analysis," Lamb said of Smith.

"He's got some class touches, and for an 18-year-old he takes the ball so flat. He's got great feet, he made a few lovely breaks.

"I just hope England don't put too much pressure on him, because he's only 18. Everyone goes through tough times -- even Jonny Wilkinson.

"I hope they stick with him and let him develop nicely and at his own pace. And if they do that, then he's a world-class player for the future."

La Rochelle bagged a hugely impressive bonus-point victory in Twickenham on Saturday on their Champions Cup debut -- but Lamb has warned against complacency for Patrice Collazo's men.

Lamb, uncapped at senior level, is feeling revitalised by his move to France, having made the summer switch from Worcester, but laid the credit for his fine performance at the feet of an imposing pack and vision-laden back line.

"It's quite easy when you can pass to eight guys who are over 18 stone!" the 31-year-old said. "And we've got some fantastic players, with great vision.

"Everyone's on the same page. We all want to play rugby. It doesn't matter where it's from - -if it's on, we're going to play."

He continued: "I love it in France. The first month was quite tough, just trying to get internet and things like that sorted out.

"But it's been nice to take myself out of my comfort zone, moving away from Cheltenham where I had lived for a long time.

"Moving to France, it's completely different, especially with a young family.

"The French people have really opened up and made us welcome. It feels like it's taken years off my age. I feel 25 again!"