He is a mercurial talent who was destined to be in an England jersey and tomorrow against Australia Marcus Smith will get his first taste of top-level international rugby.
Smith’s previous two England starts have come in under-strength sides who played the USA and Canada during the summer.
This weekend he will wear No10 against a Wallabies team who I think are better than last week’s defeat to Scotland suggests.
It’s something of a baptism of fire but I think Smith is ready. And if he isn’t, then the only way to get him up to speed is to play in games like this.
While it’s far from make or break for his England future, Test rugby can be unforgiving so he will need to be on his game.
And if he is to become the permanent fixture in England’s XV that I believe he can, then this is the sort of game he needs to play really well in.
Opponents like Australia are those who you will meet in knockout stages of World Cups, so this will show coach Eddie Jones whether Smith can cut the mustard.
I was intrigued to see how Jones would approach the conundrum of who else to select in the backs if he picked Smith. I think the answer offers Australia a glimmer of hope.
Manu Tuilagi has been picked to start at wing for only the second time in his Test career but I suspect will tuck into midfield when England are defending.
Smith or Henry Slade can move out wide when Australia are on the attack. Otherwise, if I’m the visitors I’m targeting Tuilagi on the wing all day long.
It’ll also be interesting to see how England line up in attack because the players around Smith bring a different dynamic to that which suits him so well at Harlequins.
With his club, Smith gets quick ball from his scrum-half Danny Care and has a man-mountain outside him in Andre Esterhuizen to dump the ball onto if needed.
England No9 Ben Youngs, however, likes to run it more often than Care, while centres Owen Farrell and Slade can’t offer what Esterhuizen does. Tuilagi will presumably help with that.
I actually like Jones’s thought process and on paper it all sounds fine but in practice it could be different.
If he does ask Smith to switch to wing when defending that is quite disruptive in his first big Test match. Tuilagi and No8 Tom Curry, meanwhile, are both picked out of their usual positions.
While there is no shortage of exciting talent on the bench England are short of experience, and that can also offer Australia hope.
Smith isn’t the only player who’ll be out to prove they’re ready for games of his magnitude.
Full-back Freddie Steward has been class for Leicester and I think will play for England for years but is also new to this level.
Australia were decent in the Rugby Championship, beating world champions South Africa twice, but where they are weak England are really strong.
Their dominance at the set-piece should mean the hosts get quick ball, and if the Aussies end of chasing the game it’ll give Smith a platform to show his magic.
I can’t see England losing, but not so much because of the talent in the XV as the impact that Jones’s coaches seem to be having.
The new-look backroom team, which includes Richard Cockerill and Anthony Seibold, is gnarlier and, I think, probably more inclined to challenge Jones.
I can see how they want to play and that encourages me. And the fact they didn’t give up any more than three points against Tonga last week is a telling statement.
England’s forwards are in form and I see them battering Australia up front for the first 40 minutes, which will pay off in the second 40.
Former England Sevens captain Ollie Phillips is the founder of Optimist Performance, experts in leadership development and behavioural change. Follow Ollie on Twitter and on LinkedIn.