7 Reasons Owen Farrell Needs To Start At 12 For England

owen farrell

There has been a great deal of debate about who England’s inside centre at the World Cup should be given the lack of stand-out options. Currently the general opinion seems to be divided between Brad Barritt and Luther Burrell, with names like Kyle Eastmond and Henry Slade thrown in for good measure.

Whilst I can see the relative merits of a player like Barritt, or the potential of Slade, for me, the most viable options for this World Cup is actually Owen Farrell. Here are the _ reasons why I think he could be the right man for the 12 jersey later this year (and possibly beyond)…

1.International experience

Not only is Farrell now one of England’s most seasoned internationals, he has also toured as part of the Lions in 2013. This means he has the experience of playing against some of the best players in the world on a regular basis, and within a highly competitive environment. He is also already well accustomed to England’s patterns and set plays.


Not only is Farrell a world class goal kicker, he also regularly displays his talent at kicking the ball from hand. During Saracens Premiership semi and final, Farrell was key in much of their good work, with his kicking from hand a particular highlight as he kept them playing in the right areas of the pitch, and set up several great opportunities.


Although Farrell’s distribution may not be quite as strong as Ford’s, he is still a solid passer of the ball, and could be the right man to get the ball out to the likes of Joseph and Watson who can do the damage out wide. It means England can line-up either side of the breakdown and feel comfortable going right or left with Ford and Farrell on the pitch.


4.Prior experience

Many people forget that Ford and Farrell began their England careers playing alongside each other, with Farrell slotting into the 12 shirt during the Junior World Championships. It’s therefore easy to see how the two are already accustomed to working with one another, and shouldn’t find it too difficult to rekindle the partnership.


Farrell has the size, and defensive commitment on his size which perfectly compliments the exciting, if slightly lightweight combination of Ford and Joseph. He isn’t afraid of making big hits, and is a key proponent of Saracens impressive line speed which has been so effective over the years, his organisation is also top class.


For several years now, Farrell has been touted as a future England captain, such is his attitude out on the pitch. He leads by example and ensures his voice is heard, even when amongst players of much greater experience. He is also often described as having a big game temperament, whilst retaining the fire needed at this level.


7.Lack of viable alternatives

Whilst Brad Barritt would help ensure England remained defensively solid, it’s hard to see him complimenting a back line that requires the ball getting out to Joseph at 13 and onto the wingers. Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees meanwhile have both failed to take their opportunities whilst Slade and Eastmond possible lack the experience.

Do you think Farrell is the right man to play at 12 for England during the World Cup?

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  1. I was incredibly frustrated when Lancaster selected Farrell for the England match against Samoa at 12 because I felt that Farrell had been given enough chances despite bad form and could not see why Lancaster refused to give a player like Eastmond a chance, and whilst that still annoys me, as Eastmond lacks experience and possibly is weak defensively I do believe that Farrell could be a valuable asset there as he has a little bit of everything and is a solid 12. However, I think the goal kicking duties should remain Ford’s unless he hits some bad form with the boot because I think it would show a lack of confidence on Lancasters part if he took it away from Ford

  2. This article clearly shows two things, firstly a complete lack of understanding of rugby at an international level. To cover both 10 and 12 at a club level is entirely possible for the best players (which Farrell is not), but at international level, it just is not possible to compete at a world cup winning level outside your 1st position. It also falls into the trap of most rugby fans in this country who fail to see Farrell for what he really is, a petulant child who is at the very best of times a moment of madness away from a match deciding yellow card offence. ‘Ice cold temperament’ my arse.

  3. Slade has the best passing game out of the centre’s. Yes he may not be the largest of choices by any matter, but he most certainly deserves the opportunity to show his sublime talents at the world cup at no. 12. He can play 10,13 and 12, and is always putting in full commitment to every game for Exeter chiefs. His kicking game is very reliable. He also was a 400m sprinter in high school, meaning he has pace, and when he’s got space, you won’t catch him. Farrell is a fly half, and will always be a fly half, but will be the second choice behind Ford in ny opinion, as he has a shitty temperament. Also, Slade and Jack Nowell play together at Exeter, so moves will cone off a treat for England, and a possible title may be in their favour this year, but only if Slade is selected.

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