Steve Borthwick faces the task of selecting a new England captain as Owen Farrell has opted out of the 2024 Six Nations to prioritize his and his family’s mental well-being.
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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.”
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Contenders to replace Owen Farrell as captain
#1. Ellis Genge – Favourite
England’s head coach, Borthwick, has hinted at Ellis Genge, the front-rower, emerging as the next captain. Borthwick appointed Genge as the England vice-captain, and their successful collaboration in winning the Premiership with Leicester solidifies this choice for future success. Genge’s leadership potential looks bright, relying on his ongoing role as England’s primary player in the number one position.