Owen Farrell will make his Lions debut in Hong Kong on Saturday against the Barbarians and admitted he can’t wait to throw himself into the action.
Farrell starts the game along with Saracens team mate Mako Vunipola with the north London club’s third tourist, Matt Stevens, named among the replacement’s for the first game against the Barbarians who have also named Schalk Brits in their starting line-up.
Farrell is the third youngest player in Warren Gatland’s 37-man party and was just 17 when The Lions were last on tour in South Africa.
Farrell’s past experience of Lions adventures came through DVDs and advice from previous tourists and with three weeks training behind him, the 21-year-old playmaker insists everything he’s experienced so far has suggested that The Lions really is a step up from anything else the game has to offer.
“You come in here with no expectations. I had no clue about how it would be,” said Farrell.
“I’ve come in with an open mind and tried to get to know everybody the best I can.
“Preparation has been going really well. I’ve really enjoyed it, going to different places, meeting new people and getting stuck into new things. It freshens everything up and is something that makes you look forward to touring.
“It’s also been brilliant as far as training is concerned, the intensity, the precision of it all has really stood out.”
Head Coach Warren Gatland’s decision to name two fly-halves rather than three means both Farrell and Leinster’s Jonny Sexton will have plenty of game time on Tour – something that the youngster is more than happy with.
“You have to perform as well as you can. In terms of playing, you might get some more time which will only put you in a good place,” added Farrell, who insists thoughts of winning a Test place are secondary to settling into The Lions’ environment.
“Jonny Sexton’s been outstanding all year. I’m taking it one day at a time and just making sure I can be the best I can be.
“If needed I would fit in anywhere. All I want to do is put the shirt on and get ready to play.
“There’s no point being half-hearted about things. You don’t want to just dip your toe – you want to throw yourself in.”
Don’t forget to join us at Allianz Park for the live screening of the first Lions test hosted by Kyran Bracken and Saracens guests on Saturday 22nd June. Gates open at 09h00 with kick off at 11h00.
Our giant 10m x 6.5m screen will be located on the pitch to provide perfect viewing from the East Stand amid genuine match day atmosphere.
Click here for more details.