IT is fairly certain that Owen Farrell will be going on the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer; we just don’t know what number he will have on his back.
But whether wearing the No.10 or No.12 jersey, fellow England international Tom Youngs is adamant Wigan-born Farrell will be a key cog against world champions New Zealand.
The 2017 Six Nations saw England head coach Eddie Jones once again utilise Farrell at inside centre, the position he has taken up in all but one game under the Australian.
That one exception saw the 25-year-old start at fly-half in a victory over Australia Down Under, the role he takes up for Saracens.
But whatever British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland decides to do with Farrell when he announces his squad on April 19, hooker Youngs knows the versatile back won’t let his team down.
“I thought Joe Launchbury was outstanding and Owen Farrell as well, they’re the two guys I thought were brilliant during the Six Nations,” said Leicester Tigers’ Youngs, speaking on behalf of Land Rover, official vehicle partner of Premiership Rugby and long-time supporter of rugby at all levels; from grassroots to elite.
“Owen is Mr Reliable, he’s a tenacious competitor. He has grown and grown. When he first came into camp and I was there, he always had a good leader’s voice on him.
“He’s a great player to play with and a hard player to play against, he’s someone I’d always like in my side.
“Warren Gatland will have some selection headaches after some great Six Nations games, which is great for him and great for the British and Irish Lions.
“I can’t wait for the Lions to start, I can’t wait to see what the squad will be and what the Test team will be.”
Farrell was once again instrumental as England won a second successive Six Nations title, earning his 50th cap in victory over Italy along the way.
But while England were once again crowned champions, they narrowly missed out on a second straight Grand Slam after losing their final game 13-9 to Ireland.
But Youngs, who last played for England in October 2015, believes Jones’ squad will learn from their first loss in 19 matches.
“If they had lost a game at the beginning of the tournament then beat Ireland in Dublin, they would have been happy with winning the championship,” he added.
“They’ve won the championship and lost to Ireland, who played well and nullified England, who may have got their tactics wrong.
“I think it’s good for the group and they’ll learn a lot from this, but they’ve won the championship two years in a row – they’ve achieved a lot.”
Tom Youngs was speaking on behalf of Land Rover, the official vehicle partner of Premiership Rugby. Land Rover has a heritage in supporting rugby at all levels, from grassroots to elite. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal