SAM Smith feels playing in the Championship for Worcester Warriors will not harm his ambition to play for England.
The 24-year-old wing, who has represented England at under 20s level, harbours hopes of one day playing for the senior side and following in the footsteps of his father Simon, who won nine caps for his nation in 1985 and 1986.
While Smith has dropped down a tier after leaving Harlequins, he points to Chris Pennell as proof that you do not have to be in the Aviva Premiership to earn international recognition.
The Worcester full-back was selected for England earlier this year and earned his first cap on the tour to New Zealand.
New signing Smith said: “Every young player dreams of playing for England and we saw last year Chris achieved it when playing for Worcester.
“For me to take the next step I need to be playing week in, week out, which I wasn’t always doing at Quins.
“I had spates of eight or nine games in a row, but then I might miss out a few matches. Hopefully, now I can try to nail down a place and, if I achieve that, get some regular rugby and really use those games to improve.”
Smith spent six seasons at The Stoop, but says Dean Ryan’s vision for the future convinced him to continue his career at Sixways.
He said: “I don’t think it’s ever going to be an easy decision to move clubs, especially one that I’d been at for so long. I had been there for six seasons, but once I came and spoke to Dean and heard his plans for the next few seasons that made my decision very easy.
“It’s exciting to be getting in when it’s first starting. The level of professionalism over pre-season I’ve been really impressed with.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting involved and stuck in and I am really excited about the challenge ahead.
“It will be a challenge but, hopefully, we’ll pull it off.”