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Farrell joins Siya in France

NEWS: England flyhalf Owen Farrell will join Racing 92 on a two-year deal from next season, the French Top 14 club announced on Monday.

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Farrell, 32, will miss the upcoming Six Nations as he takes a mental health break from the international game, having captained his country at the World Cup.

Earlier this month, French media had linked Farrell with a move to the Paris-based outfit, coached by former England boss Stuart Lancaster.

The decision is likely to make Farrell unavailable for England as coach Steve Borthwick is unable to select players based abroad.

“Racing 92 confirm the signature of Owen Farrell to their professional men’s team,” Racing said.

“The international English player has signed for two seasons and will join the squad on July 1, 2024.”

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Last week Borthwick urged Farrell, England’s leading scorer, to make the right move for himself with hooker Jamie George captaining the side during the Six Nations, which starts next month.

In recent seasons, players such as Toulouse flank Tom Willis have benefitted from a temporary exemption to the rule so to be able to represent England.

Farrell’s father, Andy, will coach the British and Irish Lions during next year’s tour of Australia, with the flyhalf having already toured with the side three times.

“Will a player of Owen’s calibre be missed if he chooses to play outside of England? Yes, of course,” Borthwick said on Wednesday.

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“Do I want him in some point in the future to come back [to play for England]? Yes.”

“But I also want him to do what’s right for him and his family and have the experiences and the memories that he wants to make,” he added.

Saracens playmaker Farrell joins a long list of top-level flyhalves to join the club based in the plush western Paris suburbs.

Retired New Zealand flyhalves Dan Carter and Andrew Mehrtens have spent time with Racing, six-time French champions, and mercurial Scotland No.10 Finn Russell left the club last season after five years.

Farrell made his Saracens debut in 2008 as a 17-year-old and has led them to the Champions Cup title on three occasions and the English Premiership six times.

“There’s no need to explain what a player with 112 caps with England and who has won three Champions Cups can bring our squad,” Racing president Laurent Travers told newspaper L’Equipe.

“He will obviously help our young players to mature,” he added.

Farrell’s England team-mate Henry Arundell and South Africa’s two-time Rugby World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi are among the stars already at Racing, leaders of the Top 14 after 12 rounds and qualified for the Champions Cup last 16.

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