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Farrell in December 2015
|Birth name||Owen Andrew Farrell|
|Date of birth||24 September 1991|
|Place of birth||Billinge, Lancashire, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.86 m)|
|Weight||14 st 7 lb; 203 lb (92 kg)|
|School||St. John Fisher Catholic High School|
St George's School
|University||University of Hertfordshire|
|Notable relative(s)||Andy Farrell (father)|
Liam Farrell (cousin)
Sean O'Loughlin (uncle)
Keiron O'Loughlin (grandfather)
|Spouse||Georgia Lyon (m. 14 July 2018)|
|Rugby union career|
Owen Andrew Farrell (born 24 September 1991) is an English professional rugby union player, currently playing for Premiership Rugby side Saracens. Farrell has played international rugby for England since 2012, has previously played for the British and Irish Lions and has been the Captain of England since 2018. He is considered by many to be one of the best currently-active rugby union players in the world, having been nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Farrell celebrates every point he scores by linking his index fingers together to make a 'JJ' sign, the Joining Jack salute, Joining Jack being a charity dedicated to the needs of sufferers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Farrell is also a patron for Duchenne muscular dystrophy charity Duchenne UK.
Owen Andrew Farrell was born on 24 September 1991 in Billinge, Wigan, Lancashire. He began playing rugby league in his hometown at the age of eight for Wigan St Patricks. When his father Andy signed for Saracens in 2005, his family moved to Harpenden in Hertfordshire, where Owen at the age of 13 or 14 was introduced to rugby union for the first time.
He has two younger sisters, Elleshia and Gracie and one younger brother, Gabriel.
Farrell held the record of youngest player ever to appear in English professional rugby union after playing for Saracens 11 days after his 17th birthday, in a 26–17 home defeat against Llanelli Scarlets in the EDF Energy Cup on 5 October 2008, until this record was broken in November 2009 by George Ford of Leicester Tigers.
In the 2010–11 season, Farrell signed for Bedford Blues on loan. However, he returned to Saracens and was pivotal in the 2010–11 Aviva Premiership Final, kicking five penalties and converting James Short's try, ending with a personal haul of 17 points in the 22–18 victory over reigning champions Leicester Tigers.
The 2013–14 season was a strong season for Farrell and Saracens, with the London Club reaching the Heineken Cup against Toulon, but they missed out on the title after losing the match 23–6, and there was more disappointment for Farrell and Saracens after being defeated 24–20 in the Aviva Premiership Final against Northampton at Twickenham. Although Farrell did struggle with injury in the 2013–14 season after being knocked out unconscious in Saracens's 49–10 win over Leicester Tigers after colliding with opponent Niki Goneva, resulting in Farrell being carried off on a stretcher in a neck brace.
In the 2014–15 season, Farrell won the man of the match award in the Premiership Final, scoring a try and kicking a further ten points. Saracens went on to win the final 28–16.
The following season, Farrell won the Fans' Player of the Season for Saracens, and kicked all 21 points against Racing 92 in the 2016 European Rugby Champions Cup Final, which Saracens won. He subsequently was awarded the Top Points Scorer award with 129 points scored in the tournament.
In 2017, Farrell overtook Glen Jackson as the Saracens' all-time leading points scorer, having scored 1548 points in his career so far. In May 2017, Owen helped Saracens to a second successive European Champions Cup, and was named European Player of the Year.
He was given his first call-up to the England Elite Player Squad when Stuart Lancaster selected him in his squad for the 2012 Six Nations Championship. Farrell was the youngest player in the squad, being only 20 years old at the time.
He made his debut on 4 February 2012 against Scotland, starting at inside centre next to his Saracens teammates Brad Barritt and Charlie Hodgson. He kicked two penalties and a conversion, but also missed two tough penalties from around 50 metres. His next match, against Italy, saw him produce a faultless kicking display, kicking four penalties and a conversion. In the next match, against Wales, Farrell played at fly-half for the first time in an England shirt after Charlie Hodgson sustained a finger injury in the week leading up to the Wales game. Once again his goal-kicking was impressive, missing just one kick out of five, but he was replaced by Toby Flood later in the game after appearing to injure his leg after a clearance kick. He then played against France and Ireland. Farrell kicked well in the Ireland game, only missing one conversion. He finished the competition with 63 points from five games.
The 2012 summer tour of South Africa saw Farrell get selected again. He played all of the warm-up game against the Barbarians and scored a respectable 17 points in a game that England won comfortably. Farrell again played all through the first match against South Africa, where England lost 22–17 in a tight game. He kicked all four of his penalties but missed a conversion. He came on as a substitute in the second test; he scored no points and could not help England avoid defeat for a second time. Farrell had two spells on the pitch in the third test; he scored two penalties in a tight game that ended 14–14, twice attempting to score his first drop goal but missing each time. He ended the series with 18 points from three appearances.
Farrell played his first game in the autumn test series as a substitute and scored a conversion. On 1 December 2012, he started in England's game against New Zealand and scored a total of 17 points in helping England to a record-breaking victory; it was their greatest-ever margin of victory over the All Blacks.
Farrell started in the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland, only missing one kick in a near-faultless display. He set up one try and assisted England to a strong start in their Six Nations campaign. He was also nominated the RBS Six Nations man of the match for his performance.
After a break from English rugby due to the Lions tour, Farrell returned to England for the 2013 QBE autumn internationals. He played the full 80 minutes of the match against the Wallabies, kicking two penalties (but also missing three with one hitting the post), two conversions and scoring his debut England try, breaking through a gap in the Australian line of defence and touching down under the posts. His try proved to be the deciding score, as England went on to win 20–13.
Farrell was ruled out of the entire 2015 Six Nations competition with a serious knee injury. However, after recovering from his injury Farrell was picked to train in the England camp ahead of the England 2015 World Cup. He went on to start in England's first World Cup warm-up match on 15 August, against France, scoring two out of three conversions and consequently helping England win the game 19–14. Farrell was picked by Lancaster as one of two fly-halves in the 31-man World Cup squad.
Farrell came on as a replacement for George Ford in the opening match of the world cup against Fiji, a 35–11 win where Farrell did not miss any kicks. Farrell played for the full 80 minutes in England's second 2015 World Cup match, a 25–28 loss to Wales, scoring 20 points after failing to miss any kicks for the second straight match. He subsequently kept his place to face Australia the following weekend, on 2 October 2015, which England went on to lose 13–33 after Farrell was sin-binned in the 70th minute. This was the first time that England failed to make the playoffs of a Rugby World Cup, having lost to both Wales and Australia now. Farrell started at inside centre in England's final pool match, a 60–3 win over Uruguay. Farrell was subbed off for Jonathan Joseph in the 59th minute after missing two of his six kicks.
In January 2016, after his fine displays for Saracens, Farrell was selected in the first squad of new England head coach Eddie Jones. With injuries to Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi leaving few choices at inside centre, Farrell was selected at 12 in Jones' first two matches, away to Scotland and Italy respectively. George Ford became a regular starter at 10 in Farrell's place. He was selected as one of England's vice-captains for the Six Nations, along with Mike Brown and Billy Vunipola, under Dylan Hartley's captaincy. In the first two matches, Farrell contributed 22 points including a try against Italy, and assumed the captaincy when Hartley was substituted late on.
Farrell went on to start at inside centre in all five of England's games during the Six Nations tournament, winning his first major international trophy as part of England's Grand Slam-winning side. Farrell finished the tournament as the leading scorer with 69 points, bringing his personal tally for England to 412 and making him the second-highest points scorer in the history of the England national team, with only Jonny Wilkinson having scored more.
In the summer of 2016, England embarked on a three-match series in Australia. Farrell was initially picked to start at fly-half for the first test, however, he was soon reverted to inside centre with Ford assuming the No.10 shirt. England would go on to win the series 3–0, with Farrell playing a pivotal role, being named man of the match in the third test and scoring 66 points on tour. Owen was nominated for the six-man shortlist for the 2016 World Player of the Year Award for the second time in his career, alongside his Saracens teammates Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje.
Farrell played all 80 minutes every test in the 2017 Six Nations Championship and helped England retaining the Six Nations title despite missing out the Grand Slam after losing the final game to Ireland. The highlight of Farrell's 2017 Six Nations was on 11 March 2017 when he scored 26 points against Scotland in a 61–21 win for England.
Farrell had a huge workload in the 2018 Six Nations Championship and played in every minute of the competition. Farrell scored a try against Italy on 4 February 2018 and also set one up for first-five George Ford. Disappointingly however, Farrell only kicked 5/8 of his goals against Italy, which disallowed England from putting 50 points on Italy, leaving England to win 46–15. On 24 February, Farrell scored all of England's points against Scotland, including a try. This was not enough however, with Farrell's second try of the match disallowed. Scotland went on to upset England 25–13, with Farrell's game not doing enough to get England a win.
On 10 March 2018, Farrell captained England for the first time in his career when they faced France in Stade de France in Paris. Farrell did not miss any kicks against France in the match and defended well, but England lost 22–16 due to giving away penalties to French scrum-half Maxime Machenaud who managed to convert them into points. Farrell later admitted to media that England's lack of discipline cost them the test.
England went onto lose their final 6 Nations match against Ireland, with Hartley back as captain. Farrell started the match at fly-half, with George Ford dropping to the bench, his first start in the ten jersey for England since June 2016.
After England captain Dylan Hartley sustained another concussion in 2018 and was subsequently ruled out of England's three-test series against South Africa, Farrell was promoted to captain in Hartley's absence, leading England to a 2–1 series defeat. Although England rushed to a 24–3 lead early in the first test, with Farrell scoring a try, South Africa came back into the test eventually winning 42–39. England won the final test 25–10 for Farrell's first victory as England captain. Farrell returned to 12 for the series, with Ford back at 10 for the first two games, which England lost, before Danny Cipriani was installed at 10 for the final game.
During the autumn, Dylan Hartley again returned from injury, but Farrell was selected as co-captain. The pair led England to victories over South Africa (12-11) and Australia (37-20), and a defeat to New Zealand (16-15), while Farrell came off the bench during a 35–15 victory over Japan (George Ford captained this game). For the three matches he started, Farrell started at 10 again, with Ben Te’o preferred at 12 outside him.
Farrell was retained at 10 and as the sole England Captain during the 2019 6 Nations, with Hartley missing the whole tournament.
England started the tournament with a shock 32–20 victory against the Irish in Dublin, avenging the previous year's loss for their first away win against the Irish since 2013, and only their third ever during the 6 Nations era. It was also Ireland's first home defeat since New Zealand beat them in November 2016, and Ireland went into the match having lost only one of their last eighteen games. The game was cited as England's best under Eddie Jones, and was backed up with a 44–8 win over France at Twickenham, their largest win in over 90 years against the French, with Farrell picking up a try as well as 12 points from the boot.
Despite leading 13–3 at half time, in England's third match they came up short against Wales in Cardiff, losing 21–13 to the eventual 2019 Grand Slam winners.
Their final two matches saw a 57–14 victory over Italy before their final match against Scotland, both games at home. England scored 24 tries across the tournament, the most of any team since England scored 29 in 2001. Farrell contributed 59 points to this, finishing the 2019 tournaments top scorer. However, their final match against Scotland ended in a 38 all draw, with England leading 31–7 at the break before Scotland made a magnificent comeback to lead 38–31 by the 80th minute. Farrell was substituted with ten minutes left, and it was his replacement, George Ford, who proved the saviour for England to score after the clock had gone red to rescue the match for a draw. It was Scotland's first draw at Twickenham since 1989, and the first time they had retained the Calcutta Cup since 1984.
Farrell was selected as England's captain for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, where England would face France, Argentina, Tonga and the United States in Pool C. He also started and captained two of England's four warm-up matches, starting at 12 against Ireland in a record 57–15 victory, and at 10 against Italy in England's first ever match at St James’ Park in Newcastle
England performed well at the 2019 World Cup, topping their pool with big wins over Argentina, Tonga and the USA (their match against France was cancelled due to a typhoon), and following this up with a record equalling win over Australia in the Quarter-Final. Farrell went on to lead England to victory over New Zealand in the semi final, winning 19-7. Farrell captained England against South Africa in the Final, South Africa upset the favourites for the game and won 32-12.
The Semi-Final win against New Zealand made Farrell just the fourth England Captain (after Martin Johnson, Jeff Pullin and Will Carling) to lead England to victories against all of the “Big Three” Southern Hemisphere sides (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia). As captain, he has 2 wins against Australia, 2 against South Africa, and one against New Zealand.
Farrell was selected as part of the British and Irish Lions squad for the 2013 tour to Australia. Farrell started for the Lions in Hong Kong on 1 June against the Barbarians, kicking three penalties and three conversions in a convincing 59–8 win for the Lions. In his second game against Western Force, Farrell started on the bench, came on in the 66th minute and scored a try with his first touch, helping the Lions towards a 69–17 win. He gained his first Lions test cap, coming off the bench to replace Jonathan Sexton, in the 16–41 series decider.
In April 2017, Farrell was named again as part of the Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand. He played a pivotal role in the series, starting in all three tests against the All Blacks. The first test, which was a 30–15 loss to the Lions had Farrell start at 10, while England teammate Ben Te'o starting at 12. Farrell moved to 12 for the next two tests, with Te'o dropping to the bench to accommodate Irish fly-half Jonathan Sexton. With three minutes left of the second test of the series, the Lions were awarded a penalty due to a dangerous tackle by All Black prop Charlie Faumuina. Farrell managed to convert the penalty kick, allowing the Lions to defeat the All Blacks in the second test 24–21, breaking a number of records. Farrell did not miss a single penalty kick in the final match of the series, a 15–15 draw, which allowed the Lions to draw the series with the All Blacks. Farrell also scored the most points of any player who went on tour with the Lions in 2017, scoring 45 points (31 from tests).
As of 26 September 2019:
|1||Australia||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2013 Autumn Internationals||2 November 2013||Win||20 – 13|
|2||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2014 Six Nations||15 March 2014||Win||52 – 11|
|3||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2016 Six Nations||14 February 2016||Win||40 – 9|
|4||Australia||Melbourne, Australia||AAMI Park||2016 Tour of Australia||18 June 2016||Win||23 – 7|
|5||South Africa||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2016 Autumn Internationals||12 November 2016||Win||37 – 21|
|6||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2018 Six Nations||4 February 2018||Win||46 – 15|
|7||Scotland||Edinburgh, Scotland||Murrayfield||2018 Six Nations||24 February 2018||Loss||13 – 25|
|8||South Africa||Johannesburg, South Africa||Ellis Park Stadium||2018 Tour of South Africa||9 June 2018||Loss||39 – 42|
|9||Australia||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2018 Autumn Internationals||24 November 2018||Win||37 – 18|
|10||France||London, England||Twickenham Stadium||2019 Six Nations||10 February 2019||Win||44 – 8|
British & Irish Lions