Rugby-England sweat over Farrell fitness ahead of Six Nations


  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

Rugby Union - Autumn International - England v Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 13, 2021 England's Owen Farrell scores a penalty Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) - England captain Owen Farrell could head into the Six Nations without having played for months after his scheduled comeback for Saracens against London Irish in the Champions Cup at the weekend was thrown into doubt.

The flyhalf was named in the England squad by head coach Eddie Jones on Tuesday, despite not having played since November due to an ankle injury sustained against Australia.

"There's going to be a late decision on Owen. This is the first week he's done any team training," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"We've just got to see how he reacts to the training. Owen has worked hard ... we'll see, towards the end of the week, whether he's able to take part in the match this Sunday."

England, who begin their preparations for the Six Nations at a camp in Brighton on Monday, open their campaign away to Scotland on Feb. 5.

Jones defended his decision to retain Farrell as skipper on Wednesday, saying that the 30-year-old remains "the right guy for the job", despite his indifferent form in recent seasons and lack of minutes on the pitch.

"What we saw with Owen in November, in the short time he played, was really positive, he came back in rejuvenated," said Jones.

"And you also have got to remember those Saracens blokes have had a really tough time. I certainly didn't appreciate it as much as I should have. I thought they could come back in the Six Nations (in 2021) and play at the level they could, and I overestimated that."

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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