Fly-half and centre, England and Saracens
It has taken Owen Farrell precious little time to impress with his game management and goal-kicking prowess for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership and in European competition. Four years ago, he became the youngest player at the time to make his debut in the professional game.
Another four on-target attempts against Wales at Twickenham, four out of five against France in Paris, seven out of eight against Ireland and four out of five against in the subsequent first Test against South Africa in Durban took him towards 29 successful place kicks from 35 in his initial eight Tests. By then he also had amassed 316 points in 34 Premiership matches for Saracens.
Owen had added to his two appearances for the 2011 Grand Slam England U20 side with another four in the IRB Junior World Championship in Italy. He also landed five penalty goals and converted the only try of the Aviva Premiership final by James Short when Saracens won the title for the first time, by beating Leicester Tigers 22-18, at Twickenham in May last year.
His earlier kudos include a Heineken Cup Man of the Match award when Saracens edged out Racing Métro 92 by 19-14 in December 2010 after he had made a powerful impression for England U16, who he captained, and for the U17 and U18 sides.
When returning from an England U17 tour of Argentina, he not only trained with his father and fellow Saracen Andy, a rugby league icon who won eight caps at union for England, including three in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. When Farrell Snr fractured and dislocated a thumb against Western Force in August that year, Owen joined the match as his replacement.
Owen is a product of St George’s School in Harpenden, has been studying Business at Hertfordshire University and also spent time on loan with Bedford Blues. He began playing rugby league at the age of eight, for Wigan St Patricks, like his father. Owen most admires All Blacks fly half Dan Carter and wore the No. 12 jersey at union and switched to fly half before returning to his role at centre.
Rugby’s distinctly in the family with loose forward Sean O’Loughlin, his uncle, playing for Wigan Warriors, England and Great Britain. Dad Andy, who was Saracens’ first team coach and the England backs coach for the 2012 6 Nations Championship, had followed a similar path.