Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Strettle marvels at rookie Farrell

Owen Farrell

David Strettle believes Saracens' rookie fly-half sensation Owen Farrell is ready for England duty after less than a season in the Aviva Premiership.

Farrell started the campaign on loan at Championship club Bedford but he has been a key figure in Saracens' surge into the Premiership semi-finals on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run.

"He has been brilliant for us. I honestly think if you threw him in at the deep end in an England shirt he is the kind of guy that can rise to the top," said Strettle.

"You'd have to ask Martin Johnson about the World Cup. I can only judge him from what I have seen.

"He has played Heineken Cup games and been man of the match. The only way you can judge someone is if they have fallen short and I have never seen him fall short in a game.

"Owen has a great work ethic, he has got all the core skills and he has got great game understanding. I just get amazed how young he is.

"He is 19. I try and think what I was doing at 19. I was at uni up in Sheffield enjoying a few beers with the lads whereas Owen is playing at this level and doing so well.

"I have never seen him flustered in a game."

Although the World Cup will probably come too soon, Farrell is set to be included in the England Saxons squad for the forthcoming Churchill Cup.

England's attack coach Brian Smith was at The Stoop on Saturday to witness Farrell provide the decisive second half contribution in a tight 16-13 derby victory against Harlequins with his first Premiership try, a conversion and penalty.

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