World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has waded into the England All Blacks flyhalf debate.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Sir Clive breaks down what separates the pair and who he’d favour if his life depended on it.
“Owen Farrell or Beauden Barrett? Who would you pick to play at No 10 if your life depended on it?
“Barrett is a phenomenal strike runner and try scorer with 31 Test tries and hits the gainline flatter and with more pace than anyone in world rugby.
“Yet as a goal-kicker he can be decidedly hot and cold. He can kick beautifully when all the stars align but I wouldn’t necessarily want him kicking a touchline conversion to win the World Cup.”
“Farrell is the best big-match goal-kicker in the world – Wilkinson-esque in his consistency. I never expect him to miss even the most difficult kicks which is a huge plus at this elite level.”
“I have one bit of ‘positive feedback’ to both of these incredible players. In 132 Tests between them they have kicked just two drop-goals, both by Farrell. I’m not sure I can remember Barrett attempting one.
“Both are brilliant strikers of the ball so, guys, let’s see the full range of your genius. Drop goals are as important in the first minute as the last and New Zealand more than any other team have never grasped their importance in true knockout rugby. Don’t let the art die.”
Woodward also ponders why New Zealand haven’t looked at one of the world’s leading kicking coaches to improve Barrett’s accuracy.
“In that respect I am amazed New Zealand haven’t hired Dave Alred to work not only with him but to run the whole kicking strategy for the All Blacks. If they did that, New Zealand would be nigh on impossible to beat based on their talent.”
Woodward says he’d ultimately pick Farrell.
“Putting aside the fact that some of you would insist on adding Ireland’s Johnny Sexton to the equation, I would pick Farrell.”
“I would go for the Englishman.”
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