Head coach Eddie Jones has praised the attitude of Owen Farrell as the Saracens three-quarter continues to make crucial contributions to England’s record-breaking 16-match winning run.
Farrell has already racked up 562 points for his country as he prepares to win his 50th cap against Italy at Twickenham on Sunday but Jones is adamant the 25-year-old can become even more successful in channelling his natural aggression.
Jones said: “Being more mature and calmer comes with age. Everyone when they are young is quite hot under the collar. You don’t have patience, you learn patience and you get patience with age.
England head coach Eddie Jones said he was not surprised by Claudio Ranieri’s sacking due to the short-term culture in sport.
‘At times he’d fire up, but as he’s matured, he can keep that in check’ — Charlie Hodgson and Kelly Brown help Tom Hamilton deconstruct England star Owen Farrell as he reaches 50 caps.
Joe Schmidt stated Ireland’s Six Nations destiny is back in their own hands after a 19-9 win over France but added the final clash with England would lose it’s appeal if it’s not a title decider.
“I want my players to win, as long as they are doing everything they can to win. You can do that in the most overt way and be yelling and screaming and punching your chest or you can do it in a quiet way. Either way it doesn’t matter. You look at [fly-half] George Ford and Owen Farrell — there is no difference in their desire to win, it’s just one expresses it in a different way.”
Farrell is already England’s second-highest point-scorer of all time and, although he remains short of half-way to catching Jonny Wilkinson, Jones believes Farrell can meet the standards set by the World Cup-winning fly-half.
The Australian added: “I don’t think Owen should be compared to other players. He is Owen Farrell and he is a different player.
“In his first 50 Tests he will be disappointed that his winning record is less than Jonny Wilkinson’s but I’m guaranteeing that in his next 50 his winning record will be better than Jonny Wilkinson’s.
Owen Farrell is now a senior member of the England side, and has been touted as a potential Lions captain. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
“You could tell when he was young that he would always be a driven player – driven to be his best. My first impression of him was how driven he was and how much he wanted to get better and wanted to make the most of his career.
“It was almost inevitable he would be a first team player at Saracens. If you’ve got that amount of desire and a reasonable amount of natural ability you are going to be a good player.
“I don’t think he’s as good a player as he can be yet, and that’s the great thing because his next 50 caps will be better than his first 50 — much better. I look at him now and he’s developing. He’s faster now than he was in November, he’s got better footwork than he had and his catching and passing are more consistent.
“Being a great player is about being consistent and that’s what we’ll see from him going forward. The aura comes from your performance and he’s starting to develop that because he’s so consistent.”
Farrell is once again selected at centre against the Azzurri; forming a new partnership with Worcester’s Ben Te’o.
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