Owen Farrell praises Johnny Sexton in revealing interview ahead of Six Nations
"They looked like Del Boy and Rodney!"
Many rugby supporters will be questioning how Owen Farrell managed to get clear of a long ban for another no arms tackle, to be ready for the opening game of the 2023 Six Nations.
The England captain escaped any sanction, during the game, for his high shot on Gloucester's Jack Clement but was cited and banned after a lengthy review. The ban was set at six weeks, reduced to five due to pristine conduct at the hearing [although Farrell admitted no wrong-doing] and reduced by another week once the Saracens outhalf agreed to attend a coaching clinic of proper tackling procedures.
There was still the matter of the RFU releasing Farrell from England training camp so he could not play a league game against Bristol Bears, hence missing his fourth week and being cleared to line out for his country.
Farrell lost out on the England captaincy during the end-game of Eddie Jones' England tenure but he is back in-situ under new head coach Steve Borthwick. Ahead of his side's championship opener, at home to Scotland, Farrell was as open with the media as he has ever been. He spoke about leaders he has learned from and his relationship with his father, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.
Owen Farrell on Johnny Sexton and Ireland jerseys
As part of the Six Nations launch in London, last week, Owen Farrell sat down with Sunday newspaper journalists and spoke of the moment his eldest son crossed his path in an Ireland rugby jersey.
"I asked him why he has got one," said Farrell. "He said, 'It's grandad [Andy's] team'.
"I said, 'Well, you can wear a suit like grandad does, then, not the kit!'
"They’re into anything and my dad also got them a Man City top which I’m not happy about as well. They’re also obsessed with Batman and Spiderman at the minute and were dressed up as them last week. Someone sent us a picture and said they looked like Del Boy and Rodney [from Only Fools and Horses]."
Farrell is now 31 and in his 11th season as a Test rugby player. He has the captaincy back, now that Courtney Lawes has been ruled out.
Asked by the Sunday reporters what to expect from him as a leader of this England team, he highlighted Sam Warburton and Johnny Sexton as two captains he has taken from to add to his own game.
"Over the course of my career I’ve learned from some of the best," he said.
"Whether that be on Lions tours – that third Test in New Zealand and seeing the way Sam Warburton was and seeing the way Johnny [Sexton] drives everything on the training field and demands from people. I can name a lot more.
"It’s about doing the right thing at the right time and drawing from that experience, whilst also trying to be yourself. Do I ever get nervous? It’s more nervous energy, excitement."
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