Borthwick hails Farrell determination

  • Borthwick reflects on Farrell's rapid rise
  • England play Italy on Sunday
  • Jones announces his team on Friday

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick says Owen Farrell has the determination and drive to get better as he prepares to win his 50th international cap.

England face Italy on Sunday in the third round of the RBS 6 Nations, and Borthwick reflects on the rapid rise and constant development of the 25-year-old.   

“I was fortunate that at Saracens, I saw him come through as a youngster,” said Borthwick. “There are lots of moments I can think back on with Owen, but the one that struck me is when we played a Heineken Cup game - Racing Metro away in Nantes - and three different times in the game we were down by 13 points.

“We had him (Farrell) playing, he must have been 20 or 21, and he was totally composed throughout the game, and led us back into it. He was tremendous." "To have that influence is incredible." 

Borthwick and Farrell were both part of the Saracens outfit that beat Leicester Tigers 22-18 to clinch the Aviva Premiership title in 2011 - a game Farrell contributed 17 points to - and Borthwick says it is the back’s competitive spirit and desire to excel that makes him a valuable asset to any team.

“When you work as hard as he does to improve, and have the competitive desire he has, I think the sky is the limit,” he added.

“He is a fantastic player, and the influence he has on others around him makes them better. He demands more of people, and they are better players because he is playing with them. To have that influence is incredible.”

Driving standards

Farrell has amassed 562 points in his five-year international career, and sits second in England's all-time record point scorers list, behind Jonny Wilkinson.

Borthwick describes him as a 'young man desperate to get better', and says Farrell is a team player who drives the standards of the England camp and has become an example to every player in the squad.

“He demands excellence from himself and everyone else because he wants this team to do well,” he added.

“Some great things have happened for him in the past, but the opportunity for him to get better is great. He is still such a young man, and the experience he has already just bodes so well for the future."