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Six Nations

Third favourites England to be without skipper Farrell for Six Nations

Published on November 29, 2023
Written by Chris

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Third favourites England to be without skipper Farrell for Six Nations
  • Captain withdraws to focus on wellbeing of him and his family
  • Fly-half to continue to play for Saracens
  • Borthwick voices support for Farrell

England captain Owen Farrell has opted to withdraw from the upcoming 2024 Six Nations tournament to prioritise his and his family’s mental well-being, according to an announcement by his club side, Saracens.

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Farrell has full backing of Borthwick and Saracens

Saracens released a statement expressing their support for Farrell’s decision, stating that he “has decided to take a break from international rugby” and that he will have the full backing of the club. The 32-year-old will continue to play for and captain Saracens during this period.

England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, voiced his support for Farrell’s decision, acknowledging the challenges faced by elite athletes and commending Farrell for his courage in opening up about his well-being. Borthwick emphasised that England Rugby fully supports Farrell and pledged to provide the necessary support for him going forward.

Owen Farrell, who succeeded Dylan Hartley as England captain in 2019, recently achieved the milestone of becoming England’s all-time leading points scorer during the World Cup, surpassing Jonny Wilkinson’s career record. Despite his success on the field, Farrell has decided to step back from international duties for the time being.

England is set to begin their Six Nations campaign on February 3 in Italy, with the tournament concluding on March 16 in France. Farrell’s absence will be notable, given his integral role in the England squad over the past decade.

The fly-half and centre, with 112 caps to his name, has been a consistent figure in the England set-up since making his international debut in 2012. His decision comes after leading England to the semi-finals of the recent World Cup in France, where they were eventually defeated by South Africa.

Farrell’s absence from the upcoming Six Nations adds a layer of uncertainty to England’s campaign, but the priority on mental well-being reflects a growing awareness of the challenges and pressures faced by elite athletes in today’s sports landscape.

Betting Implications

Farrell is an important player for England as a leader and as a playmaker from fly-half. His absence from the Six Nations campaign will undoubtedly be a blow to England’s hopes. However, despite Farrell’s superb performances he has, at times, divided opinion among the fanbase with some believing that the team have looked better with George Ford at fly-half and that Ford and Farrell do not gel in the same line-up. Bettors need to assess the impact of Farrell’s absence when making their Six Nations picks.

At the time of writing Coral have England priced at 7/1 to win the Six Nations, behind France, 11/10 and Ireland, 6/5. Scotland are fourth favourites at 16/1 ahead of Wales, 20/1 and Italy 500/1.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise