Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Mark McCall addresses speculation Owen Farrell is off to Racing 92

By Liam Heagney
Saracens' Owen Farrell (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

Saracens boss Mark McCall has responded to the speculation in the French media that Owen Farrell is reportedly “very close” to committing to a two-year deal with Racing 92.

ADVERTISEMENT

The England skipper, who is on a Test rugby sabbatical following the recent Rugby World Cup, is out of contract at the London club at the end of the 2023/24 season and was linked on Friday with a switch to Stuart Lancaster’s Parisians instead of accepting a renewed deal at Saracens and remaining available for international selection next season.

Saracens were away to Leicester on Saturday in the Gallagher Premiership and before the game kicked off at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, McCall was asked by TNT Sports to give his take on the club-future speculation now surrounding Farrell.

Video Spacer

Jacques Nienaber on evolution and why he left international rugby

Former Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has given his first Leinster press conference and at it spoke about how big a role family played in his decision to leave Test rugby. He also spoke about evolution and how it will take a while to get things right at Leinster.

Video Spacer

Jacques Nienaber on evolution and why he left international rugby

Former Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has given his first Leinster press conference and at it spoke about how big a role family played in his decision to leave Test rugby. He also spoke about evolution and how it will take a while to get things right at Leinster.

“I understand why you need to ask me the question but you also know that I can’t answer it,” he said. “Our club, like all clubs, don’t deal in or talk about speculation and we won’t be talking about this one.”

Asked if Farrell – or others – went to France, would he understand, McCall added: “There are always two different cases. Obviously, there is a real need to keep the young talent playing in the Premiership and the rule that means have got to be in the Premiership to play for England is a really important rule. I can understand when players who have had long careers at one club why they want to experience something different.

The Farrell-related questions ended with McCall was asked if players become better by playing in the French Top 14.

“It depends on who you talk to. Some people have had some great experiences and some have had some terrible experiences but there are a lot of good things going on in the Premiership – we shouldn’t be talking the Premiership down. There are a lot of good clubs.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are in the middle of a transition, to be honest, and we have some players who have been at the club for a long time and who are nearing the end of the careers and we want to send them off with a bang.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

J
Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

5 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Murphy Walker: ‘It was the first time I have cried in front of the boys’ Murphy Walker: ‘It was the first time I have cried in front of the boys’
Search