Farrell to miss Six Nations to prioritise mental wellbeing

29 November 2023 10:21 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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BBC, Nov 29 - England captain Owen Farrell has made himself unavailable for the 2024 Six Nations "in order to prioritise his and his family's mental wellbeing".

His club side Saracens said Farrell "has decided to take a break from international rugby" and "will have the full support of everyone at the club".

The 32-year-old will continue playing for and captaining Saracens.

"Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen's decision," said England head coach Steve Borthwick.

"Since making his debut, he has been an integral part of the England set-up for over a decade and the demands on elite athletes are extremely challenging.

"He is an exemplary player, captain and leader and always gives his all for his country.

"It is with typical courage that Owen has made this decision to open up in this manner. Together with all of us at England Rugby, I will do everything I can to ensure that he has the support he requires going forward."

England start their Six Nations campaign on 3 February in Italy and end it with a game in France on 16 March.

Farrell, who succeeded Dylan Hartley as England captain under Eddie Jones in 2019, became the country's all-time record points scorer during the World Cup last month, surpassing Jonny Wilkinson's career haul of 1,179 points with a penalty against Samoa in their Pool D match.

The fly-half and centre moved to second in the all-time international points-scoring list behind New Zealand's Dan Carter, who has a tally of 1,598, by the end of the competition.

He has retained his role as captain since 2019 but had to miss England's opening two World Cup games after being suspended for a dangerous tackle during the warm-up win over Wales in August.

England reached the semi-finals of the tournament in France before being beaten by South Africa.

The Saracens playmaker, who made his international debut in 2012 and has 112 caps, was also on the losing side against the Springboks when he guided England to the final of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

 

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