An impactful interview featuring Andy Farrell discussing his son, Owen Farrell, has resurfaced following the England captain’s decision to step down from international duty.
Throughout the Rugby World Cup, the England rugby team’s captain encountered substantial challenges, facing vehement criticism from fans of both England and opposing nations in every match.
The hostility reached a point where loud boos were directed at Farrell whenever he appeared on the big screen or when his name was announced. As of now, Owen Farrell has not specified a date for his return to the England team.
“Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen’s decision,” said 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.”
Farrell’s Dad Andy, who is head coach of Ireland, believed there was an unfair “pile-on” since Owen’s red card for a reckless high tackle was rescinded by an independent disciplinary committee.
“Disgraceful”, “circus” and “bullshit” were just some of the choice words Andy used to describe the situation back in August.
He said: “I don’t know. I’d probably get his mother up here to do an interview with you and you’ll see the human side of the bullshit that’s happening.
“Or maybe get his wife to write a book on it, because then you’ll probably see the impact that it’s having, not just on the professional player, but the families and the human side that goes with it.
“I don’t normally say too much about my son. What I probably would say is that the circus that has gone around all of this is absolutely disgusting. Disgusting. I suppose those people who have loved their time in the sun will get a few more days to keep going at that.”
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Greatest rugby union XV of all-time:
15. Serge Blanco (France)
The French icon’s international career with France saw the flamboyant fullback perform various outlandish levels of skill while winning Five Nation Grand Slams in 1981 and 1987 as well as four further titles.
Blanco was a threat from everywhere on the field and often took risks that we very rarely see nowadays. In total, he won 93 caps for France during his 11-year international career between 1980 and 1991, which was a record when he retired.
He also scored an imposing 233 points and is a true legend of the sport.
Did you know: Images of Blanco’s on-field heroics can always be viewed ironically alongside images of him strutting along the touchline nursing a cigarette.
Honourable mentions: JPR Williams (Wales), Jason Robinson (England), Percy Montgomery (South Africa)
14. Jonah Lomu (New Zealand)
The New Zealander remains the joint all-time top try scorer at the Rugby World Cup along with Bryan Habana, crossing the whitewash on 15 different occasions across the 1995 and 1999 tournaments.
The easiest selection in a greatest ever XV.
Originally of Tongan descent, it was Lomu who made it glamorous to be a big, bruising winger, even though his stature could have easily seen him fill in at centre or somewhere in the pack.
Much like the Juggernaut of the Marvel Universe, there wasn’t much that could stop Lomu once he’d gotten into a stride.
Did you know: In September 2009, Lomu took part in an amateur bodybuilding contest, finishing second in two categories
Honourable mentions: Bryan Habana (South Africa), Doug Howlett (New Zealand), Shane Williams (Wales)
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
The former Ireland and British and Irish Lions Skipper Brian O’Driscoll was one of the most consistent performers in the world for over a decade.
He hung up his boots in 2014 after accumulating 133 caps for Ireland with a fantastic return of 245 points. In the emerald green, he triumphed in the Six Nations in 2009 (Grand Slam) and 2014 as well as being chosen as Player of the Tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
The Dublin-born is also the highest all-time Irish record try scorer with an incredible 46 scores, and also led his country more times than any other player.
Did you know: O’Driscoll was chosen as Player of the Tournament in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 RBS Six Nations Championships.
Honourable mentions: Jeremy Guscott (England), Will Greenwood (England), Frank Bunce (New Zealand)