Harlequins flyhalf Marcus Smith is set to become the world’s best paid teenage rugby player.
According to The Times, the 18-year-old has agreed to a deal through to mid-2022 that is expected to start at £230,000 (R3.8-million) a year before bonuses.
He will see out the rest of this season on an academy contract worth less than £30,000 (R505,000) a year.
Smith, who was born in the Philippines, last year became the second youngest debutant in the Premiership at 18 years and 200 days old.
England coach Eddie Jones included him in his 33-man training squad for the 2017 end-of-year Tests as an ‘apprentice’ player.
Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston has urged Jones not to give Smith a Test debut during this year’s Six Nations.
‘Eddie’s decision to have him involved in the group – that’s fine, that’s up to him – but he is a way off being someone to play international rugby,’ said Kingston. ‘I am a great believer that you come into an international set-up when you are good enough to play 50 times for your country, not get one game and thrown back because it was not the right thing.’