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Owen Farrell, who is heading to France, has not completely ruled out potentially coming back to play for England.
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Owen Farrell, who is heading to France, has not completely ruled out potentially coming back to play for England.

“I want to continue playing rugby for as long as I can,” stated Owen Farrell, who has not ruled out the possibility of returning to the England team. The ex-captain’s recent decision to join French club Racing 92 could make him unable to represent his country for a minimum of two years.

Farrell chose not to participate in the Six Nations tournament this year in order to prioritize his family’s well-being. However, he maintains that his passion for the game remains strong. When asked about his future in international play, he stated that there are changes happening next year with his move to France and he cannot make any definitive statements at this time because he is unsure of how he will feel in the future.

The regulations of the Rugby Football Union prohibit players based overseas from playing for England. However, Farrell may have the chance to be chosen for the British & Irish Lions in next year’s series in Australia. His father, Andy Farrell, is the head coach for the three-Test tour. “Have I discussed this with my dad? I have congratulated him on his role,” Farrell stated. “As for my potential selection, there’s nothing to discuss. I’ll simply go with the flow.”

Currently, there are no choices that need to be made regarding these matters. As the time approaches, the situation may become more evident, or it may remain uncertain. We will observe and understand people’s actions at that time. At present, there is no need for discussion.

Farrell is reaching the end of his 16-year stint with Saracens and is set to play his 250th match for the team on Saturday in a face-off against London rivals Harlequins. If Saracens, who hold the domestic title and are three-time winners of the European Champions Cup, make it to the finals in both competitions, Farrell will only have a maximum of 13 games left with the club.

In his first media appearance since his Racing transfer became public in January, an optimistic Farrell discussed his choice to move to France.

The individual stated that the World Cup posed challenges, referencing the negative reactions from his supporters. However, he found satisfaction in participating and playing in the event. He focused on regaining his love and enjoyment for rugby.

Farrell’s choice to step back from international rugby came before his move to France. In November, after leading England to third place at the World Cup, he announced that he would prioritize his and his family’s mental health. Four months later, Farrell remains firm in his decision.

“I simply wanted to ensure that my actions were in line with what’s best for our family and for myself,” he stated. “I have no control over external factors, that is not within my power.”

“I am not the most extroverted when it comes to social media or in general. Therefore, I have never been one to reveal too much about myself, and I do not expect others to fully understand my personality. Thus, taking personal comments into consideration would be foolish of me. I was simply trying to do what I believe is best for both others and myself.”

Sometimes I sense the negativity, but I try not to dwell on it too much. I value the opinions of those I know to be honest, and I don’t think they would waste their time leaving comments in online sections. So, I choose not to worry about it too much. However, I do get a feeling of it. During the World Cup, I even deleted my social media, but I still felt its presence.

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Mark McCall, the director and coach of Saracens, has condemned the way Farrell was treated and described it as unjust and disgraceful. He also commended Farrell for speaking out about his difficulties, stating that it takes courage to do so. McCall believes that this incident may have slightly shifted the perception.

Farrell’s final performance has sparked a change within him. He expressed, “It’s motivating me to savor every moment.” He believes that when they are truly enjoying themselves, they play their best and reach their full potential. This was their mindset towards the end of last season, resulting in a successful finish. As they head into a crucial game this weekend, they hope to replicate that mindset.

Saracens, fourth in the league, a point behind second-placed Harlequins but only six above Bristol in eighth, have a challenging run of games ahead. After the London derby at Tottenham Stadium they travel to table-topping Northampton before a European trip to Bordeaux Bègles. This might not be a fairytale finish. Even so, even if Farrell doesn’t add to the six league and three European titles he’s won with Saracens, his coach is adamant that his legacy is secure.

“He’s done everything and achieved everything here,” McCall said. “And to go and explore the opportunity that he has in France, to experience something different with his family, I think it’s a great thing to do at this stage of his career.

“I can’t imagine Owen Farrell not being in rugby for the rest of his life to be honest. Given the rugby IQ that he has, the motivational ability that he has, the communicator that he is, the good person that he is, you could see him stepping into coaching very readily and we hope in time that might be here.”

Source: theguardian.com