Owen Farrell to take a break from international rugby to prioritise mental health

2 months ago 8

29 November 2023 • 3:28pm


Farrell prioritises family

Farrell's decision was motivated by a need to protect 'his and his family's mental well-being' Credit: Getty Images/Dan Mullan


'You are dealing with people, with human beings'

Following England’s exit from the World Cup, Farrell spoke in defence of Tom Curry and the vicious online abuse the flanker received in the wake of his accusations against Bongi Mbonambi.

“Tom’s been first class this week like he always is,” said Farrell. “What isn’t understandable, is the amount of abuse he’s got. The effect that has, not just on him, as well, is the bit that I and we really don’t understand. And I know it seems to be going more and more like this, but it shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be.

“You are dealing with people, with human beings. Just because you’re saying stuff on your phone or behind a computer screen doesn’t make it acceptable.

“It seems to be going more and more this way, and I don’t think it’s acceptable,” he added.


Saracens status

This is a breaking story but it is important to make clear at this juncture that Farrell will continue to play for Saracens during his break from international rugby.


'This should leave people feeling pretty cold'

For someone who palpably loves representing England as much as Owen Farrell to voluntarily step away from doing so should reinforce what he’s had to confront and absorb, some of which has been appalling. Frankly, it should leave people feeling pretty cold.

— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) November 29, 2023


Farrell will not play in the Six Nations

Owen Farrell will not be available for selection for the 2024 Six Nations after deciding to take a break from international rugby to prioritise his and his family’s mental health.

The England captain will still play for Saracens, but it is unclear when he will be back available for England.

Head coach Steve Borthwick released a statement, supporting his captain’s decision.

“Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen’s decision,” said 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.”

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