Rugby

Owen Farrell leaves door open for England return and Lions place

Farrell missed this year’s Guinness Six Nations to prioritise the wellbeing of his family but insists his love of the game has never diminished.

Owen Farrell has not shut the door on an international return
Owen Farrell has not shut the door on an international return Owen Farrell has not shut the door on an international return (Ben Whitley/PA)

Owen Farrell expressed a desire to play rugby for as long as possible as he left the door open to a potential England return and featuring in the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour.

The Saracens star is poised to become ineligible for his country for at least the next two years after agreeing a summer move to French club Racing 92.

Farrell missed this year’s Guinness Six Nations to prioritise the wellbeing of his family but insists his love of the game has never diminished.

Owen Farrell has not played for England since the World Cup
Owen Farrell ha snot played for England since the World Cup Owen Farrell has not played for England since the World Cup (David Davies/PA)

Asked about his international future, he replied: “I’ve not said anything. I don’t know.

“I’ve stepped back and there’s obviously a change happening next year (moving to France). Then we’ll see.

“There’s no point in saying anything now because I don’t know how I’m going to feel later down the line. We’ll see.”

While Rugby Football Union rules prevent overseas-based players from representing England, Farrell could still be selected by the Lions for next summer’s series against Australia.

His father Andy Farrell has been appointed head coach for that three-match tour.

Owen Farrell (left) with dad Andy Farrell
Owen Farrell (left) with dad Andy Farrell Owen Farrell (left) with dad Andy Farrell (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Have I spoken to my dad about it? I’ve told him ‘well done’, if that counts,” said Farrell.

“There’s nothing to talk about – whatever happens, happens. There are no decisions to be made about any of that.

“When it gets closer to the time, I guess things become clear or they don’t. You see how people are at that time. There is nothing to talk about there at the minute.”

Farrell will make his 250th appearance for the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions in Saturday’s derby against Harlequins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following last year’s Rugby World Cup in France, where he was jeered by his own supporters, the fly-half opted to step out of the spotlight to spend time with his family.

“Obviously the World Cup was difficult at times but I really enjoyed the playing side of it and being involved,” he said.

“I want to play for as long as I possibly can as long as I am enjoying it.

“I love playing. That’s always been the case, even during the tougher bits as I’ve spoken about.

“I loved the game, and I loved the rugby. I want to enjoy all of it a bit more.

“I’ve been getting back to doing it here at the club, I’ve done that over this time during the Six Nations, and I want to really do that towards the end of the year. And then I want to get better at it next year as well.

“That’s how I think I am going to get the best out of myself and play my best. We’ll see what happens.”