Sir Clive Woodward has revealed he would pick Owen Farrell to play at No 10 if his life depended on it ahead Beauden Barrett and Johnny Sexton.
“Putting aside the fact that some of you would insist on adding Ireland’s Johnny Sexton to the equation, I would pick Farrell,” wrote Woodward.
“I would go for the Englishman but really it’s like choosing between Ronaldo and Messi or Kevin De Bruyne and Luka Modric. They are all equally brilliant in their own way so it depends on exactly what you are looking for.
“Barrett is a phenomenal strike runner and try scorer with 31 Test tries and hits the gainline flatter and with more pace than anyone in world rugby.
“He is also a devastating creator of tries for others when his team are on the front foot which is most of the time. His speed enables him to make excellent cover tackles but he is not so confrontational or effective tackling the big units front on in heavy traffic.
“Yet as a goal-kicker he can be decidedly hot and cold. He can kick beautifully when all the stars align but I wouldn’t necessarily want him kicking a touchline conversion to win the World Cup.
“Farrell is the best big-match goal-kicker in the world — Wilkinson-esque in his consistency. I never expect him to miss even the most difficult kicks which is a huge plus at this elite level. Now that Elliot Daly is a regular starter, Farrell no longer takes the long kicks on the outer limit of his range and I can only see his percentages getting even better.”