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Farrell leaves the door open for return

INTERVIEW: Owen Farrell has left open the possibility of returning to the international game, be it with England or the 2025 British and Irish Lions, after calling a halt to his Test career.

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Farrell missed this season’s Six Nations to prioritise the wellbeing of his family after being jeered by England fans during last year’s World Cup in France.

He is set to become ineligible for England for at least two years after agreeing a post-season move to Paris-based Racing 92, given the Rugby Football Union rule barring overseas-based players from international selection.

But the veteran of 112 England caps could still be chosen for next year’s Lions tour of Australia, with father Andy Farrell, the current Ireland boss, appointed head coach of the combined side for a three-Test series with the Wallabies.

When asked Wednesday about his international future, Owen Farrell – a former England captain and his country’s record points-scorer – replied: “I’ve not said anything. I don’t know.

“I’ve stepped back and there’s obviously a change happening next year [moving to France].

“Then we’ll see.

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“There’s no point in saying anything now because I don’t know how I’m going to feel later down the line. We’ll see.”

As for the Lions, the 32-year-old playmaker said: “Have I spoken to my Dad about it? I’ve told him ‘well done’, if that counts.

“There’s nothing to talk about – whatever happens, happens.

“There are no decisions to be made about any of that.

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“When it gets closer to the time, I guess things become clear or they don’t.

“You see how people are at that time.

“There is nothing to talk about there at the minute.”

Farrell will make his 250th appearance for reigning Premiership champions Saracens in a London derby against Harlequins on Saturday.

Reflecting on a World Cup where England finished third, he said: “Obviously the World Cup was difficult at times but I really enjoyed the playing side of it and being involved.

“I want to play for as long as I possibly can as long as I am enjoying it.

“I love playing. That’s always been the case, even during the tougher bits as I’ve spoken about.

“I loved the game, and I loved the rugby. I want to enjoy all of it a bit more.

“I’ve been getting back to doing it here at the club, I’ve done that over this time during the Six Nations, and I want to really do that towards the end of the year. And then I want to get better at it next year as well.

“That’s how I think I am going to get the best out of myself and play my best. We’ll see what happens.”

 

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