England set to give injured Farrell a week off

England set to give injured Farrell a week off

LONDON: England fly-half Owen Farrell 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, whose kicking was restricted by the injury, was eventually replaced in the second half by Toby Flood, with England's 23-13 win keeping them on course for the Grand Slam.

Thigh injury ... Owen Farrell.

Thigh injury ... Owen Farrell.

Photo: AFP

England hope to have the 21-year-old Farrell, whose father, Andy, is a member of their coaching staff, fit for the penultimate match of a clean sweep bid at home to Italy on March 10.

"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 Tuesday.

"This week is partly about recharging our batteries after a tough Test match but we trained well today and are in pretty good shape."


Farrell has won rave reviews for his performances since starring in England's shock 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December.

But Clive Woodward, the last England coach to win a Grand Slam in 2003, the same year he also guided the team to World Cup glory, warned Farrell not to become involved in the kind of incidents that saw him confront France fullback Yoann Huget and scrum-half Morgan Parra at Twickenham.

"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," the former England centre and British and Irish Lions coach added.

"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."

Among 10 players released by England back to their clubs for Premiership matches this weekend, only two -- Northampton's Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes -- started against France.


New Zealand-born hooker Hartley was arguably outshone by replacement Tom Youngs while Lawes struggled in the unfamiliar position of blindside flanker.


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