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Sarries content to rest Farrell

England fly-half Owen Farrell can have a rest if he wants one after his heroics against the All Blacks.

Saracens will consult Farrell when he reports back from England duty, secure in the knowledge that former England number 10 Charlie Hodgson is back firing on all cylinders.

Hodgson, starting for only the second time after a pre-season Achilles injury, pulled the strings as Sarries made it two wins out of two in their LV= Cup group matches with a 51-10 victory over Scarlets at Allianz Park.

Forwards coach Alex Sanderson said: "Owen might get a week off - we'll ask him what he wants to do.

"Charlie's come back playing as though he's never been away so we have that option."

Farrell's England team-mates Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins and Billy Vunipola could return for next Saturday's Aviva Premiership visit to Exeter but Sanderson pledged that they will also get their time off.

"We'll stagger it but they will get a rest. We will look after them," said Sanderson, who expects the club's England prop Mako Vunipola to be fit to return in a fortnight after missing the last two Autumn Tests against Argentina and New Zealand with a knee injury.

Sarries showed the strength in depth to do that as a combination of experience and youthful promise proved too strong for the Scarlets.

Sanderson reflected: "The energy we showed to get back on track when things went slightly wrong was second to none.

"There are some good young players here who you are going to see a lot more of in the seasons to come - if not this season.

"We will give them the opportunity to make it difficult for us not to pick them. It's exciting to know you have these boys waiting in the wings and they are learning so much from the more experienced players alongside them."

Despite being outgunned, the youthful Welsh region, containing five debutants, kept trying to play rugby and head coach Simon Easterby said: "They showed a lot of guts and wore the shirt with pride.

"We could have shut up shop and kept pinging the ball down their end but your players aren't going to learn much from that.

"The score flattered Saracens a little bit but they are a very good side. Our errors were a little bit too high and it's hard to stop the momentum once they get going."

Scarlets were without 30 players through international calls, injuries and the need to rest some senior squad players for a tough RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup programme.

They suffered a blow last week with the announcement that their Wales centre Jonathan Davies is joining Clermont at the end of the season but Easterby is determined the region should continue to produce their own players.

"We have never been afraid of developing and exposing players to the highest level," he added.

"Today showed them the standard required to play at this level for 80 minutes.

"Some of them will get further opportunities and this step up will hold them in good stead this season and beyond."


From Belfast Telegraph