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Treatment of Owen Farrell by England fans in Marseille condemned

Owen Farrell kicks a penalty against Fiji - PA

Owen Farrell is criticised unfairly and should receive greater acclaim after leading England into the World Cup semi-finals, according to attack coach Richard Wigglesworth.


Farrell vindicated his selection ahead of George Ford at fly-half with a man-of-the-match display in Sunday’s 30-24 victory over Fiji, landing a crucial drop-goal and penalty as part of a 20-point haul.

England’s captain kicked and passed with accuracy throughout and had a hand in Manu Tuilagi’s opening try – all in defiance of the booing that greeted his name being read out on the pre-match tannoy at Stade Velodrome.

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WATCH as Springbok captain Siya Kolisi explains to @king365ed about who he regards as the ‘real heroes’ of their one-point win over France this past Sunday

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WATCH as Springbok captain Siya Kolisi explains to @king365ed about who he regards as the ‘real heroes’ of their one-point win over France this past Sunday

The fans’ response was typical of a player who divides opinion, but he was outstanding as England dug themselves out of trouble against Fiji and Wigglesworth feels he does not get the credit he deserves.

“We are lucky to have Owen. As ever, the tallest trees catch the most wind and he seems to catch a fair bit of it,” Wigglesworth said.

“He’s proven time and time and time again and I don’t understand why in England we feel the need to not celebrate that, not enjoy it, just because he’s not sat in front of social media or the media lapping all that up.

“He is incredibly serious about his career, he is an incredibly proud Englishman. He affects any team he is in and he was brilliant for us – as we knew he would be.


“That was the maddening part of any noise. We knew what was coming from him.”

South Africa await in the last four and enter the rematch of the 2019 final as strong favourites following their monumental victory over France in Paris on Sunday night.

The tournament has lost its magic with the demise of France, Fiji and Ireland, but England will not care as they continue to surpass expectations, progressing as the only unbeaten team.

A fifth appearance in the final appears an unlikely prospect, however, with Wigglesworth aware of the challenge ahead.

“How special is it to be able to beat France, with the form they are in and in their own backyard? That was a special performance from an incredible team,” Wigglesworth said.


“We are probably talking about one of the best rugby teams to ever do it aren’t we? The strength of their game and how they play is well known, but in the last year or so you’ve seen a massive evolution in what they do.

“They’ve started adding things to their game with how they move the ball and how they exit, all different things so they’ve now got more variety.

“They’ve got multiple threats now and that’s probably why they are aiming to be one of the best ever.”

England are hoping to have a clean bill of health against South Africa with players undergoing medical checks on Monday morning.


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Alexander 279 days ago

Rugby has become so toxic. Was it always like this?

Allan 279 days ago

Mmmm….apparently even the English fans don't like him!

Euan 279 days ago

I’d still stick Forde in against SA. They'll be needing the drop goals.

Tom 280 days ago

I was at the game, and around me at least, it wasn’t the England fans booing Farrell. Remember, there were plenty of Aussie, Welsh and Argentine fans in the ground. He’s not the most popular man abroad.

B.J. Spratt 280 days ago

“Training horses is a bit like coaching Northern Hemisphere Teams, sometimes they have just forgotten how to win”

B.J. Spratt 280 days ago

Did you know that you Northern Hemisphere Boys take up 91% of this website “Moaning about referees”

Sort of sums you up really. No wonder you can’t play under “extreme pressure of a “World Cup”

This is the first time I have ‘understood a National Psyche, why you have only won 1 World Cup and you haven’t won The Football World Cup since 1966.

It’s because “It’s always someone elses fault” Narcissism.

‘Narcissists struggle to disassociate themselves from person accountability, now boys does that ring Bell?

4 More Years. . I loved Gregan when he said that to” Byron Kelleher.

Best Sledge of all time. . .

Ian 280 days ago

‘ The tournament has lost its magic with the exit of France, Fiji and ireland’. Go home you complete prat. You certainly have no idea about rugby.

Pauly 280 days ago

Barnes the ref cost Ireland,he was giving pens against a winning irish scrum,he always goes against ireland,he should not ref an irish game ever

Bob Marler 280 days ago

“We are unlucky to be lucky to have Owen”.

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Wonton 6 hours ago
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One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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Nick 7 hours ago
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Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

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