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McCall hails 'born winner' Farrell

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes England have recruited a "born winner" after appointing Andy Farrell to their management team for the Six Nations.

Farrell will be seconded from his role as Saracens head coach to work alongside Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree in England's interim coaching set-up.

The former dual international was initially reluctant to take up the opportunity until Saracens urged him to do it. McCall, speaking after Saracens' 31-26 Heineken Cup win over Ospreys, said: "As a club we are massively keen to develop individuals."

He added: "Although the team is important, developing individuals is what we are about, whether they are coaches or players. When you get a chance to coach the Six Nations, it would be unfair to say no.

"As a coach he is outstanding. We will miss him when he is away because he is a big part of what we do, but he will be back here coaching this club for a very long time."

Rhys Gill, Ernst Joubert and Chris Wyles scored the tries for Saracens who were in full control until Owen Farrell's sin-binning for a body-check on Dan Biggar took the wind out of their sails. The Ospreys took advantage with centre Ashley Beck scoring his second try of the match.

Saracens held on for the victory but Biggar's 16-point haul ensured the Ospreys left London with a bonus point, which could be valuable in such a tight group, and the Welsh region's director of coaching Scott Johnson described it as the "best worst result we could have asked for".

Johnson was furious with the way the scrum was refereed and he believes the rugby authorities must act as a matter of urgency to preserve its place in the game, and said: "The scrum has become a lottery. It is getting to the point of being farcical. I may not be a scrum guru but I can tell you the illegalities were not all one way.

"We are playing off two scrums a game - one each. It is just short-arm free-kick, penalty. You may as well toss a coin and say 'whose go this time?'

"That is the stage we have got to in this game of rugby. We have got to do something about the scrums because they have become farcical."


From Belfast Telegraph