Farrell to miss Six Nations to prioritise health

2 months ago 8
  • Tom Hamilton, Senior WriterNov 29, 2023, 10:26 AM ET


      • Joined ESPN in 2011
      • Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours
      • Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018

England captain Owen Farrell has announced he will take a break from international rugby and will not be available for the 2024 Six Nations.

In a statement on the Saracens website, the club said Farrell has made the decision "in order to prioritise his and his family's mental well-being".

Farrell captained England to the men's Rugby World Cup semifinals in 2023 and is the country's record points scorer but has decided to step away from playing for England for the time being.

"Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen's decision," England head coach Steve Borthwick said. "Since making his debut, he has been an integral part of the England set up for over a decade and the demands on elite athletes are extremely challenging. He is an exemplary player, captain and leader and always gives his all for his country.

"It is with typical courage that Owen has made this decision to open up in this manner. Together with all of us at England Rugby, I will do everything I can to ensure that he has the support he requires going forward."

Farrell, 32, broke the England points scoring record previously held by Jonny Wilkinson in their World Cup pool stage win against Samoa.

He helped the country reach the final of the 2019 men's Rugby World Cup and to third place in France in October, but will not lead England out in the 2024 Six Nations. Farrell will continue to play for and captain Saracens during his international absence.

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