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Saracens coach responds to ‘speculation’ over Owen Farrell’s future

The England captain has been linked with a move to French side Racing 92

Duncan Bech
Sunday 07 January 2024 14:37 GMT
Owen Farrell played in Saracens’ defeat at Leicester on Saturday
Owen Farrell played in Saracens’ defeat at Leicester on Saturday (Getty Images)

Saracens boss Mark McCall insists the Premiership champions will fight to keep Owen Farrell after it emerged the England captain has held talks with Racing 92.

Farrell could conclude his 15 years as a regular in Saracens’ first team at the end of the season if he signs for the Top 14 leaders, who have released a statement denying an agreement has been reached.

The 32-year-old has already stood himself down from the Six Nations in order to prioritise his mental wellbeing and should he sign for Racing he will become ineligible for England selection.

McCall, speaking after Saracens’ 19-10 defeat at Leicester, admitted he wants Farrell to remain at StoneX Stadium, although he refused to elaborate further on news that has sent shockwaves through English rugby.

“I think having Owen Farrell in your team is what everybody would want,” director of rugby McCall said.

“It’s just not fair on anyone to talk about something that is speculation. Until there’s something to talk about, we’re not going to talk about it.”

Speaking before the game, McCall insisted that he would not begrudge any senior player if they wanted to leave north London.

“I can understand that when players have had long careers at one club, they would want to experience something different,” he told TNT Sports.

“There are a lot of good things coming out of the Premiership and we shouldn’t be talking it down. There are a lot of good clubs.

“We’re in the middle of transition and we have some players who have been at the club for a long time and who are nearing the end of the careers and we want to send them off with a bang.”

Along with his team-mates, Farrell endured a difficult afternoon in the East Midlands with mistakes by the skipper leading directly to two of Leicester’s three tries.

I think having Owen Farrell in your team is what everybody would want

Mark McCall

It produced Saracens’ fifth Premiership defeat of the season – equalling their entire total of losses for their 2022-23 campaign – and registered a third defeat in four matches in the competition.

“Owen went well. Like he always does, he led from the front and he had a good game. He’s very good at putting distraction to one side and we saw that again here,” McCall said.

“We don’t want to be losing matches, obviously. We want to play better than we’re playing. We haven’t quite had the season that we want – that’s obvious too.”

Leicester were impressive with commitment and intelligence stamped all over a hard-fought win that keeps them in seventh place but hints at better things ahead.

“We felt pretty comfortable and came away with a good four points,” Tigers head coach Dan McKellar said.

“When teams come here they know it’s going to be a physical battle and that’s what we wanted to give Saracens. They’re a quality side so we’re pleased.”

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