Farrell continues remarkable rise
Owen Farrell has completed a remarkable rise from a loan spell with Bedford Blues to the England squad in the space of just 14 months - now he is determined to top it off by playing in the RBS 6 Nations.
The Saracens playmaker is one of nine uncapped players included in new-look England squad announced on Wednesday by interim coach Stuart Lancaster.
The 20-year-old was playing Championship rugby until the middle of last season but is now ready to make his Test debut against Scotland on February 4. He told Press Association Sport: "I was pretty shocked when I first heard I had been called up by England and it is a massive honour."
He added: "I got my chance (with Saracens) last year when a couple of fly-halves were injured and I got the opportunity to play with some brilliant players. You learn quickly with players like that around.
"It is exciting to be in the England squad. Everybody wants to play for their country and be the best they can be and play in big games."
Farrell was recalled from his loan spell after Derick Hougaard and Alex Goode were injured and he took to Aviva Premiership rugby like a duck to water.
The rookie piloted Saracens to the Twickenham grand final and then nervelessly kicked 17 points as they beat Leicester to lift their first title.
Farrell's work ethic and dedication was compared this week to Jonny Wilkinson's famed obsession with self-improvement.
"You want to be the best you can be," he said.
"Everybody knows how hard Jonny Wilkinson worked. He's the ultimate professional. Everybody knows it takes hard work. You turn up every day excited to train."