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Owen Farrell has expressed that the timing feels appropriate for him to depart from Saracens and join Racing 92.
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Owen Farrell has expressed that the timing feels appropriate for him to depart from Saracens and join Racing 92.

Owen Farrell has declared that the timing is perfect for his transfer from England to France, breaking his silence about his move from Saracens to Racing 92 at the conclusion of the current season. He acknowledged the tough choice of leaving the club he has been a part of for 18 years, but expressed his enthusiasm for the new opportunity after Saracens officially announced his departure.

Racing announced the transfer in January, however Saracens only confirmed Farrell’s exit once they received a compensation fee of approximately €500,000 (£428,000). This fee was for the 32-year-old fly-half who still had one year left on his contract. Despite initial uncertainties, all necessary paperwork has now been completed, solidifying Farrell’s move to Racing. As a result, his availability for England’s national team is officially restricted until at least mid-2026 due to the rules of the Rugby Football Union, which does not permit players to be selected if they are based outside of the country.

There will be a raft of players from Borthwick’s World Cup squad plying their trade in France next season but Farrell is by some distance the most high-profile. At Racing he joins up with compatriot Henry Arundell, as well as the head coach, Stuart Lancaster, who gave Farrell his England debut 12 years ago.

Farrell expressed his struggle in saying goodbye to the place he has called home since he was 14 years old. He has cherished memories of growing up, building lifelong friendships, and even starting a family in this location. Despite the difficulty of this decision, he is looking forward to embarking on a new and exciting journey with his loved ones. While this may not have been a thought before, they have decided to venture out and experience something new, and the timing feels ideal.

“I was initially anxious about discussing the possibility of relocating, but the conversations turned out to be effortless due to the high quality of individuals present. Leaving Saracens is a challenging decision, but the organization has been exceptional in their treatment of us. Knowing that their focus is solely on the well-being of their employees means a lot.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, particularly the company of the people. I am truly grateful to the loyal fans who support us every weekend. Representing this club has never been taken for granted. As we enter the latter part of the year, our goal is to make it the best it can be. I am eagerly anticipating this journey in the upcoming months.”

In November, following a challenging run in the World Cup where Farrell faced criticism for receiving a red card in a warm-up game and was jeered by his own fans in France, it was declared that he would not be playing for Borthwick’s team. The RFU released a statement stating that Farrell had opted to step away from international rugby in order to prioritize his and his family’s mental health.

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Mark McCall, the Saracens director of rugby, expressed that Owen has been a part of the club since the age of 14 and has been an exceptional player to work with. He is a formidable opponent on the field, a supportive teammate, and a devoted family man off the field. Owen’s presence has been vital to the success of Saracens since his senior debut, and he has played a central role in the club’s accomplishments. The team is excited for the upcoming season and to see Owen embrace the new opportunity presented to him. He will always hold a special place in the Saracens family.

Source: theguardian.com