Owen Farrell Rugby: Owen Farrell, from hothead to England’s assured leader

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TOKYO: If ever a man was destined to captain a team, it surely was Owen Farrell who will lead England out in the World Cup final against South Africa in Yokohama on Saturday (Nov 2).

The son of former dual code international Andy Farrell, the new Ireland coach, became the youngest professional player in English rugby union history when he made his debut for current national and European champions Saracens soon after his 17th birthday.

Farrell, now 28, captained several England age-group teams and led the the Under-20s to a Grand Slam in 2011, with the team including his childhood friend and now World Cup team-mate George Ford.

A year later Farrell found himself making his senior England debut, in a Six Nations Championship match away to Scotland, with then coach Stuart Lancaster having no qualms about entrusting the novice with the responsibility of goal-kicking.

Farrell kicked eight points in a 13-6 win at Murrayfield while his first season

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