Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Cancelled: Next month's Owen Farrell return to international rugby

By Liam Heagney
Former England skipper Owen Farrell (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Owen Farrell has been denied a return to international rugby next month as the planned World XV match versus France in Bilbao has been cancelled.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was just 13 days ago when the former England skipper announced he would end his recent Test sabbatical by lining out for an Ian Foster selection against Fabien Galthie’s Les Bleus in Spain on June 22.

The 32-year-old had announced last November a Test rugby sabbatical away from England duty following the completion of the Rugby World Cup.

Video Spacer

Pieter-Steph du Toit with Big Jim – Teaser trailer | RPTV

Double World Cup winning Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit hosts Jim Hamilton in Japan for an all-encompassing chat about the Rugby World Cup, horrific injuries and Chasing the Sun 2. Watch the full chat on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Video Spacer

Pieter-Steph du Toit with Big Jim – Teaser trailer | RPTV

Double World Cup winning Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit hosts Jim Hamilton in Japan for an all-encompassing chat about the Rugby World Cup, horrific injuries and Chasing the Sun 2. Watch the full chat on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

However, the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour hopeful was poised to return to the international arena with next month’s outing eight months after he led the English to a bronze medal October final win over Argentina in Paris.

That return, though, has now been shelved with organisers of the match stating that refunds for purchased tickets would be refunded. According to French media reports, reasons relating to the staging of the match resulted in its cancellation.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Bristol
20 - 41
Full-time
Saracens
All Stats and Data

Farrell’s impending two-year switch to Racing from Saracens will make him unavailable for an England recall due to the RFU’s rules governing player selection, but the match in Bilbao was to serve as a reminder that the out-half very much still has what it takes to impress against Test-level opposition.

He had spoken a fortnight ago about his excitement that he had been invited to play against the French by Foster, the former All Blacks coach. “The prospect of playing for the World XV is incredibly exciting,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This will be the first time I will have played for an invitation team such as the World XV.

“Joining up with guys you normally line up against for club or country, such as Semi Radradra, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, in a less pressurised environment is something I am really looking forward to.

“I am sure the players will want to get out there and play entertainingly and put on an amazing spectacle for the Basque and French people to experience.”

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

3 Comments
J
Jon 66 days ago

Shame. Hope something else can be arranged.

J
Joseph 66 days ago

The fact that the press were largely to blame for his taking a break is nothing short of disgusting. He’s made a few mistakes but difficult to name a player of any substance who gives it a full go hasn’t also made mistakes? On behalf of a large number of Bokke fans, bring back Farrell !

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

M
Michael 32 minutes ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Cant deny Christie is a good defender, box kicks well at times, BUT he’s a second too slow passing from the ground. Roigard, Ratima and Hotham will be our 2027 halfbacks I believe DMAC has played reasonably well in both games, so deserves to keep his place - his two breaks at Eden Park should have resulted in tries. Reece was really to blame for the Taylor failure - he stayed too wide, if he had come in a couple of meters the pass from Taylor would have worked. The Perofeta failure was extraordinary, he is normally such a good distributor, failure to draw in Steward was remarkable, failure to look inside was a shocker. Cory Flynn as lineout coach… umm something a miss here. Not sure who is calling the lineouts, but clearly we miss Whitelock’s leadership. Having a disfunctional line out really underminded the AB attack. But let’s remind ourselves Itoje is a master, and their tactics of going for the arms of the jumper on landing and pulling over was brilliant causing Paddy and Scooter to both fumble the balls. I am a Blues supporter so I like Talea, but if you play him on the wrong wing look out. While he’s not the fastest wing, he’s elusive and very industrious always looking for work. However, he’s not the tallest player, and everyone knows his weakness (a) being turned in defence - he’s slow to turn and react and (b) never jumps for high balls is normally out jumped. Personally, I find Recce and Talea too alike - Razor needs to couple them with another complementary partner Clark and Narawa respectively. However, for me the real troubling challenge is our mid-field. I am sorry Barrett & Ioane are a poor combo - either Barrett & Proctor or ALB & Ioane - but having two mid-fielders who are poor distributors is nuts. Jordie had a forgettable game in truth he missed so many tackles, which to be fair is unlike him. But sadly both Barrett and Ioane chose to bash first and rarely distribute cleanly.

20 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Slow-burner George Furbank catches light as England attempt to storm All Blacks stronghold Slow-burner George Furbank catches light as England attempt to storm All Blacks stronghold
Search