Farrell touch and go
England flyhalf Owen Farrell was rated at only "fifty-fifty" by coach Stuart Lancaster for the match against Italy at Twickenham on March 10.
England flyhalf Owen Farrell was rated at only "fifty-fifty" by coach Stuart Lancaster on Thursday for the Grand Slam chasers' Six Nations match against Italy at Twickenham on March 10.
Farrell limped off with a thigh strain in the second half of last weekend's 23-13 win at home to France and faces a race to be fit for the penultimate hurdle of England's bid for a first Grand Slam since their World Cup-winning year of 2003.
"Owen is making good progress and he's 50-50 for the Italy game. In the next week he'll be running, but the problem will be kicking. If there's a doubt we won't risk it," Lancaster said.
England do have an experienced replacement for Farrell in Toby Flood, who came off the bench against France.
But they would clearly like their 21-year-old rising star to remain fit for a Six Nations campaign that culminates with a match away to defending champions Wales in Cardiff on March 16.