Owen Farrell to miss Six Nations ‘to prioritise mental well-being’

Owen Farrell is England’s record points-scorer but will miss the Six Nations

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England captain Owen Farrell will take a break from international rugby union and miss next year’s Six Nations.

The fly half, who became his nation’s leading international points scorer during the Rugby World Cup, has chosen to step away from England duty “in order to prioritise his and his family’s well-being”.

Farrell has won 112 caps for his country.

He will remain available for Saracens, the club confirmed in a statement.

“Everyone at England Rugby is fully behind Owen’s decision,” said Steve Borthwick, England head coach.

“Since making his debut, he has been an integral part of the England set up for over a decade and the demands on elite athletes are extremely challenging. He is an exemplary player, captain and leader and always gives his all for his country.

“It is with typical courage that Owen has made this decision to open up in this manner. Together with all of us at England Rugby, I will do everything I can to ensure that he has the support he requires going forward.”

Farrell made his England debut in 2012 and has been a mainstay under three head coaches.

Farrell (centre) has decided to step away from international rugby

He was appointed as captain under Eddie Jones, leading his side to the final of the 2019 World Cup, and retained the role through this year’s tournament in France.

England were narrowly defeated by South Africa in a Stade de France semi-final. George Ford and Marcus Smith were the other fly half options in Borthwick’s squad for the tournament.

One of the most decorated domestic players of his generation, Farrell has won six Premiership titles and three Champions Cup crowns.

“Owen Farrell has decided to take a break from international rugby in order to prioritise his and his family’s mental well-being,” said the Saracens. “As always, Owen will have the full support of everyone at the club.”

The club face Northampton Saints at the StoneX Stadium on Saturday.

Farrell will remain available for club Saracens

His decision to step away from the game temporarily leaves England short of leaders, with Courtney Lawes, Farrell’s regular deputy, having confirmed his retirement at the conclusion of the tournament in France.

Tom Curry, another man who has captain England recently, will also miss the Six Nations due to injury.

Ellis Genge and Ford operated as vice-captains during the World Cup, while Farrell’s Saracens teammates Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Ben Earl could also be leadership contenders.

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