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Saracens and England fly-half Owen Farrell wins Premiership award
10:43am Wednesday 9th May 2012 in npower League Two Table & Results
If last year’s Aviva Premiership final announced Owen Farrell as a big-game player then 12 months down the line the 20-year-old prodigy has his sights set on celebrating that anniversary in style.
The fly-half was still only 19 when his nerveless kicking display edged Saracens to a 22-17 win over Leicester at Twickenham to claim the first Premiership crown in the club’s history.
Flash forward a year and after a starring role in England’s Six Nations campaign Farrell is now very much a household name.
And his meteoric rise has not gone unnoticed with Farrell, son of former league and union star Andy, scooping the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award, presented to the best player aged 21 years or under in the Premiership.
But despite the accolades coming his way the Sarries star remains focused on the job in hand, namely Saturday’s Premiership semi-final clash with Leicester at Welford Road.
If Saracens are to defend their Premiership crown they will need to re-write the record books at a ground where the Tigers have never lost a semi-final but the England star remains confident that his side are up to the challenge.
“We don’t want to be a team that has won the Premiership once, we want to be constantly up there and we’ve shown that this season, but the job’s not over,” he said.
“This weekend is a different challenge, it was a different type of hunger that got us to the trophy last year, our first piece of silverware.
“This time around as a group it has been about finding that different hunger, to defend the title, and it’s not hard to be up for a semi-final at Leicester, it’s a massive game that we’re looking forward to.
“Leicester have been at the top for a long time and that’s what we want to create, we want to be up there year after year and that’s why we’re so looking forward to the challenge.
“Leicester haven’t lost a semi-final at Welford Road so if we want to be up there then we’ve got to be the ones to do it.
“We created some special memories at Twickenham last year, it’s a great place that you never get used to playing at, and we want to be back in the Premiership final this year to make some new ones.”
The 20-year-old Farrell has catapulted into the limelight over the last year as he starred both in the centre and latterly at fly-half in Stuart Lancaster’s new-look England team.
But anyone who feared that the youngster would take a while to re-adjust to the weekly grind of the club game is in for a rude awakening.
“This year was brilliant, I could not have enjoyed the experience more of playing with and against such great players,” he added.
“When I came back from the Six Nations we had massive games straight away, at Twickenham for the Quins game and the Heineken quarter final so it was never going to be tough to readjust.
“The thing is you play with these guys so much that it’s pretty much ingrained in you, you slot back in to it pretty easily because you work day in day out with them.”
Aviva is the proud title sponsor of Premiership Rugby. Tickets for the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham on 26 May are currently available with a free rugby shirt at www.premiershiprugby.com/freeshirt
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