Rugby

Owen Farrell admits he was ‘nervous’ about expressing desire to leave Saracens

The 32-year-old will be ineligible for England selection upon joining French club Racing 92 in July.

Owen Farrell will be leaving Saracens for Racing 92 at the end of the season
Owen Farrell Owen Farrell will be leaving Saracens for Racing 92 at the end of the season (Ben Whitley/PA)

Owen Farrell admits he was “nervous” over conversations about his wish to leave Saracens as the Gallagher Premiership club confirmed his departure.

French club Racing 92 announced last month Farrell will link up with them from July 1 on a two-year deal, making him ineligible for England selection as Rugby Football Union rules do not permit players who ply their trade abroad to be chosen for the national team.

Farrell, 32, had already announced that he would miss this season’s Guinness Six Nations in order to prioritise his and his family’s mental well-being.

Saracens said in a statement on Wednesday the “most important thing” is for Farrell to put himself and his family’s well-being first and that they would be announcing several ways to honour the player before his departure.

“It’s tough leaving a place that has been my home since I was 14,” Farrell said in an interview published on the Saracens X account, formerly Twitter.

“It has been a difficult decision but it is an exciting one for our family. It has never been something we have thought about before, doing anything different.

“But for the first time ever we thought it would be good to go and experience something different and the time feels right.

“I was nervous about having some conversations, even bringing it up, because it’s never been thought about, let alone discussed before.

“But once we got into the conversations they were easy to have because of the calibre of the people here.

“The club have been fantastic with us throughout this year and it really counts for something when they care about nothing but the person.”

Farrell has won six Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups at Saracens and is in line to make his 250th appearance for the club next month.

Owen Farrell has won 112 caps for England
Argentina v England – Rugby World Cup 2023 – Bronze Final – Stade de France Owen Farrell has won 112 caps for England

He has won 112 Test caps, led his country in the last two World Cup campaigns and is England’s record international points-scorer.

Farrell said: “I want to enjoy the rest of this year. We talked about it at the end of last year but we want to do as well as we possibly can.

“It has never been taken for granted playing for this club. People stay here for a long time, as a lot of us have.

“Going in to the back end of the year we are looking to make it the best we can. I can’t wait to enjoy that over the coming months.”