"Unbelievably lucky" - Owen Farrell responds to international retirement rumours - Ruck

“Unbelievably lucky” – Owen Farrell responds to international retirement rumours

Fresh from his World Cup campaign, Owen Farrell has displayed an unyielding appetite to extend his rugby career.

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In the wake of teammates like Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs stepping away from the game, the 32-year-old England stalwart, boasting well over 100 caps, appears determined to continue gracing the field, setting his sights on the next Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2027.

“I love what I do, I’m passionate about it and I don’t see that slowing down any time soon,”  said the England captain.

“I’m unbelievably lucky to do something that I’m really passionate about and I want to play as long as it can if I’m still excited about what I am doing.

“The two go hand-in-hand because if you’re not excited then you won’t do what you want to do anyway, you won’t play for the teams that you want to play for and you won’t play to the standard that you want to.

“I wouldn’t sit down and set targets. But I also wouldn’t say they are not in the back of my head, quietly.

“I wouldn’t be one to say ‘I have written this down, this down and this down, this is what I want to achieve and this is what I am working for every day’. But they are there in the background.

“The exciting bit is what’s in front of us. Where you can take what you’ve been doing and how to get the best out of yourself. Hopefully there’s loads more of that.”

Quiz! Can you name the 20 most-capped men’s England players?

Several of these individuals have participated, or are presently participating, in the contemporary era of rugby.

Can you identify how many of the top 20 most-capped England rugby players you can name?

We’ve supplied the total number of caps and their respective playing positions for each player. Your task is simply to complete their surnames.

You have a 5-minute window to attempt to guess all 20 players.

Where Are They Now: 2003 England Rugby World Cup Winning XV – 20 Years Later

Let’s take a look back on the starting England XV that took on Australia, and wrote their way into the history books.

15. Josh Lewsey

In 2005, Rugby World Cup winning fullback Josh Lewsey went back to university to complete a postgraduate diploma in Law. The fullback is also a founder of a consultancy, which specialises in leadership development within business. After spending many years outside of rugby, Lewsey returned to the sport in March of 2013, as Interim CEO of Championship club Cornish Pirates. Just five months later, the former England international had achieved the role of Head of Rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union.

Lewsey oversaw the growth of the WRU’s grassroots game, and established school-club hubs across the country. Lewsey resigned from the role in November 2015. Aside from his career on the pitch and in the boardroom, Lewsey has quite literally gone to great heights in his climbing hobby. Whilst still an active rugby player, Lewsey trekked up to the base camp of K2 in the Karakoram mountain range. In 2010, Lewsey was 500ft from the summit of Mount Everest when his breathing apparatus failed. Thankfully the former London Wasp was able to return safely in the 8,500m decent.

14. Jason Robinson

MELBOURNE – JUNE 21: Jason Robinson of England charges forward during the Rugby Union Test Match between Australia and England held on June 21, 2003 at The Telstra Dome, in Melbourne, Australia. England won the match 25-14. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Robinson initially hung up his boots following a 2007 exhibition run out for the Barbarians at Twickenham, and soon pursued a career in coaching. The former Wigan Warriors man returned to Rugby League, and promptly found a role within a grass-roots set-up, as a dual code ambassador with shaving brand Gillette. Robinson then turned his coaching focus back to Rugby Union, and took up the role as Sale Sharks Head Coach for the 2009/10 Premiership season.

Just three years previously, Robinson had won the Premiership title with Sale Sharks. However, the side sunk with the ex-winger at the helm and ended their campaign one spot off the relegation zone. Sharks were spared the drop thanks to Worcester Warriors, and Robinson stepped down from the role. The former ‘Billy Whizz’ would then come out of retirement for an unexpected run out in National League 2. At 35-years-old, Robinson re-laced his boots to play for Fylde throughout the 2010/11 season, before officially ending his career at the close of the campaign.

13. Will Greenwood

Greenwood continued to shine on the international stage following the 2003 glory, and went on to represent the British & Irish Lions for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. He ended his career at Harlequins in 2006, and soon gave his experienced views through analysis and punditry. Greenwood co-hosted the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ TV series with former Wales international Scott Quinnell, and was an on-screen analyst for ITV as England reached the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Will has also explored opportunities away from rugby, and is the current Chief Customer Officer for data and software company Afiniti’s London office. Greenwood’s family was struck with tragedy, after his son Freddie died just 45 minutes after being born. The former England centre underwent an inspirational walk to the North Pole in memory of his son, and helped to raise over £750,000 for Borne’s research. Greenwood is a patron of Borne, who are a medical research charity that work with cases of premature birth. He is also a patron of Child Bereavement UK, which is a charity that support parents who have lost a child.

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