Farrell welcomes Carter duel

Wed, 13 Nov 2013 17:07
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England flyhalf Owen Farrell is relishing the prospect of lining up against All Black great Dan Carter at Twickenham on Saturday.

England flyhalf Owen Farrell is relishing the prospect of lining up against All Black great Dan Carter at Twickenham on Saturday.

Farrell is set to go head-to-head with Carter in the key positional battle of the much-anticipated showdown as the New Zealand flyhalf wins his 100th Test cap.

Widely regarded as the world’s best No.10, Carter has established himself as one of the all-time greats in a career that has seen him win every accolade and trophy available to him and the All Blacks.

Farrell, nine years Carter’s junior, is only starting his Test career, with 16 caps to his name since making his England debut against Scotland in last year’s Six Nations.

One of those, however, was against Carter in last year’s corresponding clash, in which Farrell scored 17 points to guide England to a record 38-21 win over the world champions.

The Saracens pivot was a surprise nominee for the IRB Player of the Year award last season, missing out to Carter himself, who clinched the accolade for the second time.

The 22-year-old, who made two appearances for the British and Irish Lions in the tour to Australia earlier this year (starting against the Barbarians and coming off the bench against the Western Force), on Wednesday spoke of his respect for Carter but insisted he’ll be far from star-struck on Saturday.        

"Obviously you respect him massively because of what he's done and what he is, but there's no point sitting back and being in awe of it," Farrell said.

"You've got to go out and perform yourself. You've got to get excited about it. There is not much I don't admire about him. He is not really bad at anything.

“The impressive thing is that he's been like that for a long time. There has been no drop-off. He's a world-class player and one of the best - if not the best - for a long time. I try to take as much as I can out of what he does."

Farrell added that last year’s heroics will count for nothing this time around and said the Twickenham blockbuster will show where England stand two years out from hosting the World Cup.   

"We have to compete with these teams every time we step out on the field. They are the No.1 [team] in the world and that is where we want to get to,” he said.

“They have been setting the standard for a long time. We have to make sure, if we want to be up there, that we do the same.

“Last year is irrelevant. We have to make sure we are a team getting better."