Owen Farrell is considered to be a key player for English rugby at the moment. It is not a complete surprise – he has the right pedigree. His father, Andy Farrell, was a dual-code international and is considered to be one of the great players of rugby league. He used to be the captain of Wigan Warriors and Great Britain before he started playing rugby union for Saracens.

Owen’s mother’s side of the family also has its rugby links. His grandfather is Keiron O’Loughlin, who was a Wigan player in the 1970s, clocking up more than 250 matches for the team. Owen’s uncle is Sean O’Loughlin, who currently plays for Wigan Warriors. Owen is also distantly related to Liam Farrell, another player at Wigan.

Owen took an interest in rugby union in 2005 and it was in 2008 that he became the youngest professional player in English rugby shortly after his 17th birthday. He played for Bedford in 2010/11 but then went on to play for Saracens. His England debut was in 2012 at the Six Nations Championship, after showing real promise when playing for the national side’s U20 squad. He was on the winning side at Six Nations in both 2016 and 2017.

He prefers to play in the fly-half position but he is often placed at centre. He has made a total of 157 appearances for his club and 53 appearances for England. It is considered that the chances of England winning the Six Nations this time around will improve dramatically if Farrell is on good form.

Whether he is chosen to play at centre or at fly-half it is certain that Owen Farrell will play a leading role during the Championships. He has the physical presence, defensive skills and the leadership qualities that will be essential for success.