Owen Farrell v Jonny Wilkinson: How do the England No 10s compare?

How does England's current No 10 compare to the Red Roses' most famous one of all?

Owen Farrell is very much his own man. A determined, focused and outrageously talented individual, he grabbed the Aviva Premiership by its horns to lead Saracens to their first title since the 1998 Tetley’s Cup victory, and first ever triumph in the top tier of English rugby. Since his breakthrough season, Farrell has gone on to seize the England number 10 shirt and make the position his own. Which as always raises the question; is he the next Jonny Wilkinson?

The way the Wigan-born fly-half has progressed reflects the rise that Wilkinson experienced when he was brought into Sir Clive Woodward’s squad when he was an emerging 18 year-old. Despite attempts to wrestle the shirt from Wilkinson’s possessive reputation, not one of Charlie Hodgson, Olly Barkley, Andy Goode or Toby Flood could make it their own, with Wilkinson even returning to take his country to another World Cup final in the most unlikeliest of campaigns in 2007.

But suddenly there is an air of excitement that England’s new outside-half will carry the team forward, and since his international debut against Scotland in a 6 Nations opener last year, he – along with the disciplined coaching style of Stuart Lancaster – have taken this squad to pastures new. So how does he compare with his predecessor when Wilkinson was out the same point in his career?

When England met Wales in their round one fixture of the 2001 6 Nations, a then 21 year-old Wilkinson pulled the strings to a 44-15 victory at the Millennium Stadium. Just a week later, he would break his mentor Rob Andrew’s record for points scored in a 6 Nations, claiming 35 points in the 80 – 23 rout over Italy. Despite missing out on the Grand Slam, Woodward’s men would still claim the championship, and later that year Wilkinson would head to Australia with the British and Irish Lions as the starting 10 due to an injury suffered by Neil Jenkins.

Fast forward to now, and the similarities are uncanny. A 21 year-old Farrell has seen his side make the top spot of the 6 Nations table their own with three games to play – two of which are at Twickenham. He is quickly putting himself in the frame for a Lions starting berth, and while the apparent holder of that shirt Jonathan Sexton limped out of the game yesterday, he is expected to start the first test at the Suncorp Stadium in June. However, don’t tell Farrell that Sexton has cemented his position just yet.

Lancaster’s side find themselves just two years shy of a home World Cup, with the preparations well under way to find the right squad for the tournament. It is very much the same position Woodward found his side in – mid-way through a four year cycle which would ultimately end in World Cup glory.

There is still a long way to go if England are to win their first Grand Slam for a decade, let alone to start thinking of World Cup glory, but there is no doubting that Farrell is following some very famous footsteps along the way.

Owen Farrell v Jonny Wilkinson

Wigan (1991) Born Surrey (1979)

14 England Caps 91

9.93 Points per game 12.96

 

How Wilkinson compared with Farrell after his first 14 caps:

0 Tries 1

11 Conversions 32

38 Penalties 34

1 Drop Goals 0

139 Points 171

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum