Farrell starts against NZ

2012-11-29 13:01

London - Owen Farrell will be in direct opposition to fellow world player of the year nominee Dan Carter after being named as England's flyhalf against New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

Farrell has reclaimed the England No 10 shirt for the first time in six Tests after Toby Flood was ruled out by a toe injury he suffered in last weekend's 16-15 loss to South Africa.

The inclusion of Farrell is the only change to England's starting XV, with the place he held on the bench going to uncapped Gloucester flyhalf Freddie Burns.

England coach Stuart Lancaster made one other change among his replacements, recalling fit-again Northampton lock Courtney Lawes in place of Mouritz Botha.

Farrell and former winner Carter were two of the four men named on Wednesday on the shortlist for the International Rugby Board's prestigious award, along with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw - himself a previous multiple winner of the prize - and France fly-half Frederic Michalak.

New Zealand named their side earlier on Thursday with the world champions including Carter following an Achilles injury, although he must still pass a late fitness test.

The All Blacks are currently on a 20-match unbeaten run and have won nine straight Tests against England since a 15-13 home loss shortly before the Red Rose brigade lifted the 2003 World Cup in Australia.

England, by contrast, are looking to finish 2012 with a flourish following defeats this month by Australia (20-14) and South Africa (16-15).

"We asked for a big response from the players after Australia and we got one last Saturday against South Africa, although ultimately we were denied," said Lancaster after naming his team on Thursday.

"That frustration has been channelled this week and the whole squad has reacted with a determination to get a victory against the top team in the world."

Flood was the only member of England's squad with over 50 caps and their starting XV on Saturday will boast a combined total of just 206 Test appearances compared to New Zealand's 788.

Farrell started in all five of England's Six Nations matches this year, moving from inside centre to fly-half for the defeat by Wales and the wins against France in Paris and Ireland at Twickenham.

But he was dropped after England's first Test defeat in South Africa in June and has since been Flood's deputy for the last five internationals.

The 21-year-old Farrell even has to share flyhalf duties at club side Saracens with former England No 10 Charlie Hodgson.

However, Lancaster has been impressed by the composure Farrell showed in coming off the bench to help England draw 14-14 with the Springboks in the third Test in Port Elizabeth in June, and when he replaced Flood early in the second half last week and almost steered the side to victory from 16-6 down.

"I suppose it is a big ask for any 10 to play against the best in the world," said Farrell's father Andy, the England assistant coach.

"It is not a gamble. He is comfortable in the environment. The lads are comfortable with him being there. He is in a good place."

Injuries have restricted Lawes to just one England appearance, off the bench, in 2012 while Burns has been in fine form for Gloucester and is the leading points scorer in the English Premiership.

"We are delighted that Courtney has got an opportunity," Lancaster said.

"He has worked hard to get back in contention and what better game for him to make an impact?

"The same with Freddie Burns, who has had a great Premiership season so far, and we are looking forward to seeing him contribute should he get his chance."



15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero

Substitutes: 16 David Paice, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jonathan Joseph

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ben Smith


  • simone.dechandra.7 - 2012-11-29 13:05

    I find the demographics of England are not represented. Disgusting In this day and age. A white flyhalf. And a Islander centre. What about the Jamaicans, Indians and polish people? Utterly disgusting

  • jason.children - 2012-11-29 13:19

    I wanna know how the hell a guy who has started from the bench in the last six tests can get nominated as IRB player of the year?

      cape.maori - 2012-11-29 13:22

      Ask Francois Pienaar!

      Flemstone - 2012-11-29 13:41

      Do you watch European rugby? Same could be said for Michalak. I don't think the selections are based purely on internationals Jason.

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2012-11-29 14:36

      Still dont know how Bitchie Mcaw got the award in 2009 above Fourie du Preez... smells like fish

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2012-11-29 14:41

      Cape is that the same Francois Pienaar who belted and destroyed the Kiwis in the 1995 RWC final

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-11-29 13:32

    How the hell this plonker Farrell made it into the IRB Player of the Year list of nominees will be one of the biggest jokes in rugby folklore.He's not even England's first choice flyhalf,as Toby Flood is.Talk about standout performances and consistency as the main criteria for picking a player for such a prestigious award,then the IRB is a real farce if nothing else.How was he a better player this year than Israel Dagg,Nathan Sharpe,Kieran Read,Michael Hooper,Pat McCabe,Digby Ioane,Leigh Halfpenny,Conrad Smith,Cory Jane,Fernandez Lobbe,Bryan Habana,Eben Etzebeth and JP Peterson?It kinda tells you all you need to know about how senseless the IRB have become.Richie McCaw is up for his 4th award and still no Australian has won 1 yet.At one time Richie McCaw hardly played any rugby in that year,but he still won the IRB Player of the year award.Simply ridiculous.

      Flemstone - 2012-11-29 13:42

      Do you watch European rugby?

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-11-29 14:18

      @Flemstone Have you even bothered to look at the reasons for deciding the IRB Player of the year Award nominations?Here from the IRB Website:"The IRB Awards panel comprises some of the biggest names in the game..The panel have deliberated on every major Test played in 2012,starting with the opening RBS 6 Nations match and culminating with the November Internationals.In total they have watched around 100 hours of action, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match." You get that?"deliberated on every major Test played in 2012".Major test rugby not bloody "European rugby".Manu Tuilagi is even a better English player then Farrell was this year.How was Farrell a better player than Francois Louw?Did you see how pathetic Farrell was kicking out of hand against the Boks at Twickenham?Farrell is not even the 1st choice flyhalf at Saracens where he plays his club rugby as Charlie Hodgson is.Flyhalf Kahn Fotualli would have been a better choice than Owen Farrell.

      Flemstone - 2012-11-29 15:06

      Sean you need to calm down mate. I wasn't sure of the selection process, thats why I questioned Michalaks inclusion. Fact is Farrell is highly rated in Europe and had a good six nations. You must also remember that he plays 10 and 12. Sure they might have Hodgson starting, but European clubs don't play their players to death. You really shouldn't take the player of the year award so seriously. He's clearly a token Englishman and Michalak a token Frenchman. Its going to a Kiwi. You could nominate half their team.

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