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Owen Farrell breaks Jonny Wilkinson’s long-standing England record

Farrell overhauled Wilkinson’s England tally of 1,179 points during the Rugby World Cup match against Samoa

Harry Latham-Coyle
Saturday 07 October 2023 17:39 BST
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(AFP via Getty Images)

Owen Farrell has surpassed Jonny Wilkinson as England’s all-time leading points scorer in international rugby.

The Saracens fly half overtook Wilkinson’s tally of 1,179 points during England’s World Cup meeting with Samoa in Lille. He had missed an early chance to break the record as his conversion attempt from near the left touchline after Ollie Chessum’s ninth-minute try drifted wide but the 32-year-old did accomplish the feat by slotting a straightforward penalty on 17 minutes and moving to 1,181 points, receiving a congratulatory slap on the back from Jamie George on his way back to halfway.

Farrell made his England debut in 2012 at inside centre against Scotland, kicking two penalties and a conversion in the Six Nations encounter,

He was appointed captain of his country in 2019, succeeding hooker Dylan Hartley, and led them to the final of the World Cup in Japan.

Steve Borthwick again appointed him skipper for this year’s tournament, though the Saracens playmaker missed the first two games of England’s World Cup against Argentina and Japan due to suspension.

Having served a four-match ban for a high tackle, Farrell made an immediate return to the starting side against Chile before keeping his place as captain against Samoa, with Borthwick hailing his leadership qualities.

“Owen has been an incredible leader for this team,” Borthwick said. “He’s been an incredibly influential off-field leader. The way he has helped this team through the first rounds of this World Cup has been fantastic.

“Firstly, the example he sets is second to none and he is somebody you can follow. Secondly, his ability to harness all of those people and bring them all to be influential leaders within the squad is a real skill. I think it is an incredible skill. I think he’s done that brilliantly.”

Owen Farrell led England out as captain against Samoa and broke Jonny Wilkinson’s points record (Getty Images)

Farrell’s tally has come in 109 appearances for his country compared to Wilkinson’s 91.

While Farrell has more points for England, Wilkinson remains ahead on the overall list of Test points scorers. Both players have represented the British & Irish Lions, with the points achieved for the quadrennial tourist added to overall tallies.

Wilkinson’s 67 Lions points take him to 1,246, leaving him second behind Dan Carter.

The New Zealander’s 1,598 remains a distant mark, but at 31, Farrell still conceivably has plenty of years left at the highest level.

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton, who will retire at the conclusion of this tournament, went past Neil Jenkins for fourth on the list against Tonga earlier in this tournament having also taken Ronan O’Gara’s national record in the same game.

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