Owen Farrell Farrell’s rugby rise from baby sitter to England captain

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TOKYO (AP) — Inspirational captain. Goalkicker. Tough tackler.

Baby sitter?

Owen Farrell will lead England onto the field for the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa on Saturday and, a couple of hours later, could become only the second Englishman to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

It won’t be the first time he has been to the biggest game in rugby.

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio tells a story of the 2007 final in Paris — also involving England and the Springboks — and how he brought his then 5-year-old son, Enzo, to the Stade de France.

“Enzo watched the final on the shoulders of Owen Farrell, who was our baby sitter at the time because I was playing with his father, Andy Farrell,” Dallaglio recalls. “Of course years later, Owen Farrell was playing rugby for England, and I turn the telly on. Enzo said, ‘Dad, that’s the baby sitter.’ I went, ‘Umm, I haven’t talked to you about that. He won’t be babysitting for you anymore!”

Dallaglio described Farrell, who was 16 at the 2007 World Cup, as being “lovely, lovely, lovely young boy” back then.

“He still is, by the way,” he adds. “He just doesn’t tell you that.”

Indeed, the public image these days of Farrell — understated, reserved, he of the bland quotes — apparently doesn’t tally with what he is like inside the locker room or on the f

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