May 12, 2016
Euro Preview: Farrell looks ahead to Lyon showpiece
Personal duals are not at the forefront of Owen Farrell's thoughts, as he heads into Saturday's European Rugby Champions Cup clash agaisnt Racing 92.
24-year-old Farrell will line up against the two-time World Cup winner for the first time on a domestic stage as Saracens face Racing 92 in Lyon and is full of admiration for his opponent ahead of the game.
“He’s the world Player of the Year and you don’t get that for nothing” said Farrell. ‘He’s a fantastic player.
“You learn a lot from the best players who play the game and he’s definitely one of them.
“He’s a classy player who holds himself in a classy way. He’s been at the top for a long, long time. In that regard everyone – and definitely myself – has nothing but respect for him.
However, while their clubs go head-to-head for the Northern Hemisphere’s most sought after club prize, 24-year-old Farrell insists he is not in direct competition with the 2015 IRB world player of the year Carter.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a game and thought it was a personal battle with the opposite 10.
“As a 10 your job is to control the team, control what you’re doing and execute the plan you’ve come up with.
“It’s not about trying to outdo the person in front of you, it’s broader than that. We’ve definitely looked at him and we’ll continue to analyse but at the same time we need to make sure we concentrate on ourselves.”
Saracens go into the showpiece event looking to write the wrongs of two years ago when they came unstuck at the hands of a star-studded Toulon outfit in Cardiff.
The North London club slipped to a 23-6 defeat that day and suffered further heartbreak just seven days later in the Premiership final, an experience Farrell cites as a learning experience for the club.
"You have to learn from big games and big experiences, especially ones where it doesn't go your way.
"You have to take everything you possibly can. I know we are a different team since then and we know we have got better. We are just excited about hopefully putting in a big performance at the weekend.
"It was two finals in two weeks that year and it took it out of you there and then and it was good for us that we had to get on the plane the next day for the England tour to New Zealand.
"I don't know what I would have done if I had been sat at home thinking about it for however many weeks."