Farrell out of final New Zealand test


Stuart Lancaster has confirmed that fly-half Owen Farrell will miss the final test against New Zealand this weekend. The fly-half, who started the second test which England lost narrowly 28-27, has strained the medial ligament in his knee and will be out for a few weeks.

He will remain with the squad until they fly back on Sunday.

“The knee has been scanned and there is a strain there,” Stuart Lancaster said. “It’s disappointing for Owen as he was desperate to play in the final Test but such is his character that he is already working on his rehab and still contributing to the tour. Fortunately we have three other fly halves to call on and we’ll make that selection call over the next few days.

“The squad trained well this morning and we will narrow down selection over the next 24 hours following the game this evening.”

Freddie Burns, Danny Cipriani and Stephen Myler are the options on tour to replace him, with Burns, who started the first test and benched in the second, likely to start, but both Cipriani and Myler, who will feature in the Crusaders game this morning, will be looking to press their claims for the bench spot.

Elsewhere, Lancaster described scrum half Danny Care as “50/50 at best” to make the third test and confirmed that he hasn’t trained yet this week. Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell, who are both doubts also, did train today and barring any reactions, will be available for Saturday.

England name their squad for the final test tomorrow evening.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

18 thoughts on “Farrell out of final New Zealand test

  1. Player management is something England need to be better at. We flogged Cole to death and are doing the same to Wilson now. Farrell looked well off the pace and needed a rest, so to Brown imo.

    I hope Burns maintains his high standards from the first test. Might make 12t selection more likely as they have played a lot together, then again he played well with Eastmond too.

    1. Spot on. But we need a bench option that isn’t going to weaken the team. Thomas is improving. Looked good against the Crusaders (including 2 jackels). Needs more starts in the premiership to develop his scrumaging. But look at the improvement that Marler made in the last year. Sinkler is also promising.

  2. Cipriani did do pretty well, set up the first try very well.

    Haskell looking very good!

    Watson has just scored a beauty.

  3. Not sure many of us expected that score line against the Crusaders. Look forward to watching that tonight.

  4. Real shame that he is unavailable. Hearing Cipriani went very well against the Crusaders. I would still pick Burns, but ensure that Cipriani gets a bit longer than he did in the first test.

    Is the assumption that Care, Twelvetrees and Burrell will all available?

    1. The fact that Eastmond didn’t play at all today suggests to me he will replace 12T anyway, with Tuilgai moving back to the centre. Ashton to come in on the wing.

      1. Just watched Crusaders game (the advantage of being retired!). Watson scored one sublime try and was solid for the rest of his game. He should at least be on the bench on Saturday.

      2. See that to me was more SL be really cautious of the fact Twelvetrees and Burrell both had knocks. Obviously you’ve read something different in to it.

        I guess we will find out!

      3. I agree with Jacob. I think there may be no changes in 11,12,13,14. Very surprising if there was more than one change in personel. Could be Eastmond in at 12. Or Ashton on the wing with Manu in to 13. SL rarely judges soemone on just one game. And while I am not sure I agree with it, SL may feel that Manu on the wing is better than what we saw, but needs another game to show it.

        1. The problem for me is while Manu is on the wing, if any more chances arise like the one last week, you need someone out there who can finish it. Asthon, May, Watson, Foden, Yarde, anyone of them would have nailed that chance.

          1. While I would like to agree, let us not completely underestimate Ben Smiths defending. If there had been a supporting runner then all (including Tuilagi) would have nailed it. For flat out pace I am not sure many if any have the edge over Smith (possibly May?). Then it comes down to the cut inside, stepping to wrong foot the defender etc. that is where Smiths defensive line was so excellent.

            Ultimately I don’t know if another player would have scored that.

            I would love to see times for the england backs over 15m, 30m, 60m. From SL comments I think Tuilagi would be right up there. Not sure if he would suffer at the 15m or 60m end.

            1. I would imagine that Ashton, May, Watson, Yarde, Wade, Care, Youngs, Eastmond and Foden would all feature above Tuilagi over those distances, but they aren’t shifting the same weight as him!

              I heard somewhere that Saracens tested players over distances between 40m and 4km, and Ashton came out on top for all of them. Maybe that doesn’t count for much as the rest of their squad is pretty slow, but I think his pace is under-rated, he rarely ever gets caught if he makes a clean break.

  5. Good. Maybe Cip will get the shirt now… altho wouldn’t be surprised if Lancaster doesn’t give it to Burns again.

    Fwd pack? Doesn’t really matter that much for me, but would like to see Haskell &… go on Lancaster hotpot… give big Dave Atters a go. You know you want to.

    Also Eastmond, Tui @ centre be best shout methinks.

    And what abt Watson/Splashdown sharing with the Yardbird on the other wing?

  6. I just saw on Facebook that Bomber has confirmed that Burns will play at stand off and Cipriani will be on the bench. I’m happy with that – I’m a huge supporter of Farrell but I like the Idea of Burns and Cips again. Thats all I managed to get as it was a dodgey source (Facebook). I would like to see Eastmond and Tuilagi again with Ashton back at 14. he needs to stop that stupid slash though. It’s fine when he breaks a record or runs 90 metres but thats it. I’m Sarries through and through and he is simply amazing on the right wing but people wont stop hating until he loses the splash. Same with Farrell and the silly fingre lock thing.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, Farrell’s finger lock is about Joining Jack. A charity set up to raise awareness about a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, not quite in the same ball park as the “Ash Splash”.

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