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Another Lions player admits Owen Farrell won him over on tour

By Ian Cameron

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Another British & Irish Lions player has admitted that marmite England player Owen Farrell had won him over on the tour of South Africa.

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Farrell, arguably English rugby’s biggest star, is revered by fans and respected by his teammates and opposition, but has become something of bete noire for opposition fans and players alike. However, the ultra-serious flyhalf appears to have won over a new fanbase during the ill-fated tour this summer.

Scotland flanker Hamish Watson revealed that Farrell defied his expectations, admitting on the RugbyPass Offload that the Saracens standoff was a ‘really refreshingly good lad’.

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RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP1 | Pre-Season & Lions debrief with Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson & Max Lahiff
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RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP1 | Pre-Season & Lions debrief with Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson & Max Lahiff

“Faz is a serious bloke but when you see the way someone like him works on the field, he’s so professional.

“That was the big difference on the Lions tour, everyone is so switched on during training.

“Let’s be honest, Faz looks like a very serious bloke on the field and people from other teams may not be his number one fan, but off the field, getting to know him particularly in the last week when he wasn’t involved in the Test match, he’s a really refreshingly good lad.

“We had some beers and it was great.”

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Watson wasn’t the only player Farrell won over. Both Scotland’s Stuart Hogg and Ireland Bundee Aki admitted they harboured a newfound fondness for the 29-year-old.

“I thought he was going to be intense throughout the whole time, but he’s one of them that’s intense on a training field and he knows what he wants from it, but as soon as you finish training he’s proper chilled out,” Hogg told Sean O’Brien and Adam Jones on the House of Rugby podcast.

“I didn’t get that vibe off him in the previous two tours. I think that is why we bonded so well, because he’s proper chilled out.”

Aki has similarly nice things to say about the Wigan born playmaker.

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“But honestly I’ve learnt so much off that guy,” said Aki. “I didn’t think I’d get along with him so well. Obviously you only know him from across the pitch, you only know him when you’re playing against him.

“But the standards he’s been doing when I’m not selected, and the way he’s been approaching me as a person and as a player, he’s literally hanging around with us every single day.

“Which is cool, because you don’t see that side of him. He’s a great bloke to have around, I’ve learnt so much off him. Like I said, I have enjoyed my time being here.”

 

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Another Lions player admits Owen Farrell won him over on tour

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