Jan 18, 2016
In Focus - Farrell in fine fettle
“I thought he was outstanding. Even when he misses his kicks he puts it behind him and he gets the next one over, he usually gets the important ones over. He had a great game.” This was Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall’s verdict on yet another impressive performance from his fly-half Owen Farrell in the wake of Saracens impressive defeat of Ulster at Allianz Park.
Farrell was the deserved winner of the Man of the Match award, once again highlighting that it has been a season to remember so far for the Sarries playmaker. The England man has been in scintillating form for Saracens in the No10 jersey and still at the tender age of 24, he is looking to kick on with Saracens as they look to star in European competition once again.
After a summer where Farrell’s stock continued to rise with a Man of the Match performance in the Aviva Premiership final and a string of impressive displays in England’s disappointing World Cup campaign, his displays at the heart of a strong start to the season for the north Londoners have caught the eye.
Despite the personal platitudes Farrell is always the consummate team man, and as he outlines here, he is more than happy to play his part in the wider success of Saracens.
Owen Farrell: “It’s obviously been a good start for us this season. Otherwise [than the Quins game] we’ve had loads of energy and had a bounce and fight about us and that backs up what the pack have done. Hopefully that harasses teams, but we don’t just want to be that we want to still improve and get better and do things well of the back of it.
“We’ve been together for a long time now and we’ve got a good group of players that’s come through together - we’ve got a good group of players that have been here a long time. Even the lads that have come in have evolved, a lot of them have been here since I’ve started playing so they’ve been here a long time so for other boys to come in and pick things up it’s easy. You’re part of a group, you slot into that group. What we’ve been doing we’re pretty set on, we’re looking to improve but that foundation’s built and people come in and slot into it.”
The collective group is now shaping Eddie Jones’ England side. Alongside Farrell, fellow academy graduates Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje and Alex Goode were included in England’s EPS squad for the Six Nations with Chris Ashton and Billy and Mako Vunipola also named for the 2016 Championship.
Farrell’s displays heading into a busy time of the year for both club and country have been heartening. He is playing with vigour and has the looks of man with the bit between his teeth. As he explains, his good form is part of a wider picture of constant improvement that he strives for and in his usual humble way he is continuing to look to ‘evolve’ his game.
“I’m enjoying it (the start to the season), I’m trying to work as best as I can within this team, trying to get better within this team. As long as that happens I’ll be happy. I think it’s not one thing or another, you want to get better at everything. You want to evolve as the game evolves. Things happen in rugby that happen for certain amounts of time so you try to get better at that and then move on with the times. Hopefully you try and be a step ahead.
“All you’ve got to do is work hard to get better at everything you can, I love watching rugby and I love trying to learn as much as I can from it that’s what I enjoy. I’d do that if I wasn’t playing, that’s my passion. I think when you’re in it you don’t really sit back and look and say ‘I got better at that’ or ‘I’m doing alright at this’, you just get on with it.”