Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Owen Farrell focus

Owen Farrell shrugged off doubts over his fitness with a superb performance in Saturday's Calcutta Cup contest as England beat Scotland 61-21 to retain the RBS 6 Nations title.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at Farrell's performance.


Everyone and their dog - particularly Eddie Jones' Papillon Annie - had Farrell's fitness in their thoughts prior to kick-off. Jones had bizarrely claimed Farrell was injured by his tiny pooch, meaning England might have been deprived of their chief goal-kicker, vice-captain and fly-half cover. The Saracen appeared with a heavily strapped thigh and was named to start his 51st Test an hour before kick-off and went on to demonstrate his importance to England.


Farrell's 50th cap against Italy saw a less than flawless performance. Usually unperturbed by the big occasion, Farrell's goal-kicking was found wanting on that occasion as he was successful with three of his seven attempts at goal. Farrell was faultless off the kicking tee with six from six until an attempt from his own half drifted wide on the stroke of half-time. He finished with 11 from 12 in a 26-point haul.


Farrell and George Ford's understanding was evident and Scotland could not stop them. Ford drifted and Farrell's pop-pass fed Jonathan Joseph, who then passed it on to Anthony Watson to score England's third try. But time and again the pair interchanged as first receiver and Farrell's sleight of hand made space for team-mates.


As Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell and others in blue saw their British and Irish Lions hopes dwindle on the big stage, Farrell further enhanced his. Farrell made his debut against Scotland in Stuart Lancaster's first Test in charge in February 2012 and the 25-year-old has since come of age. He had a spring in his step as he helped England to a fifth win in his five Tests against Scotland.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph