Owen Farrell out of 2024 Six Nations as England captain takes break from international rugby for 'mental well-being'

2 months ago 8

England captain Owen Farrell will not feature in the 2024 Six Nations after deciding to take a break from international rugby, the Rugby Football Union has annouced.

However, the 32-year-old has taken the decision to step out of the Test arena "in order to prioritise his and his family's mental well-being," said an RFU statement.

"Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen’s decision," said Steve Borthwick.

"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 has been a stalwart of the England side for more than a decade and became his country’s all-time top points scorer with 1237 points from 112 caps during the World Cup, overtaking Jonny Wilkinson.

A three-time Six Nations winner, including one Grand Slam in 2016, Farrell played a key role in England’s 2023 World Cup campaign.

But England finished strongly by beating Argentina to take the bronze medal.

Farrell finished as the top points scorer at the tournament with 75 points.

England finished fourth in the 2023 Six Nations, winning just two of their five games, before losing three of their four World Cup warm-up matches against Wales, Ireland and Fiji.

Borthwick's side bounced back with a deep run in France and will now be targeting an improved Six Nations performance next year.

England's campaign starts on February 3 away to Italy.

They then host Wales and Ireland either side of a trip to Scotland, and finish away to France in Paris on March 16.

Farrell's Saracens have started the Gallagher Premiership season well and sit second after seven games, three points behind Sale Sharks.

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