Farrell set to sit out
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 09:01
Heart on fire, head in the fridge
England and Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell will sit out England's preparations for their clash against Italy at Twickenham next week.
He is set to miss training this week as he continues his recovery from a thigh problem that led to an early exit during Saturday's Six Nations victory over France at Twickenham.
Farrell, who was slightly out-of-soughts from the kicking tee on the weekend, uncharacteristically missed two kicks at goal which meant that France kept themselves in the game with just over 20 minutes to go.
He pulled up in the 60th minute of the game after kicking an up-an-under and that was his game done as you could see he was in considerable pain. He was replaced by Toby Flood who kicked two penalities and put the game beyond doubt.
"Owen is still recovering from his tight quad muscle and probably won't train this week, but we are fortunate to have Toby who came on and did well against France," England coach Stuart Lancaster said early this week.
"This week is partly about recharging our batteries after a tough Test match but we trained well today and are in pretty good shape."
Farrel rose to stardom when he guided England to a monumental victory over World Cup champions new Zealand in December but former England coach Sir Clive Woodward has warned the player not get embroiled in off-the-ball incidents like he did on Saturday.
"You cannot have your playmaker thinking about niggles and personal vendettas when he needs to be worrying about the next line-out or giving information to players around him," Woodward wrote in his Daily Mail column.
"Being a top international player is about having 'heart on fire, head in the fridge' but I'm not sure that was the case in the opening quarter."
"This is quite a spiky England team but there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. After all, rugby at this level is not a game for angels.
"There is a time and place," added the former England centre and British & Irish Lions coach.
"You've got to have the mindset that in the World Cup final you will not be the one who does something stupid to get a yellow card."
This England side will be hoping that Farrell will be ready for their match against Italy on March, 10 as they bid to win their first Grand Slam since 2003.
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