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'We're certainly hopeful': The latest Saracens update on Farrell

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Mark McCall has used his first media briefing back at the helm at Saracens to provide the latest update as to when the injured Owen Farrell should be back and ready to play for the Londoners. The England skipper was ruled out of the entire Guinness Six Nations when he suffered a fresh ankle injury on his club’s training ground in January. 

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Farrell had been working his way back to full fitness after a separate ankle injury suffered against Australia in November required an operation. 

However, just days before he was set to play his comeback game for Saracens versus London Irish in the European Challenge Cup, Farrell injured his other ankle and it was January 26 when England boss Eddie Jones said his skipper was bring operated on that day and wouldn’t play Test rugby this spring.  

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Having resumed his director of rugby role in recent days at Saracens after the club announced at the end of January that he was taking a break for medical reasons, McCall has outlined that Farrell is making encouraging progress and could be available to play in the Gallagher Premiership before the end of March.    

“His recovery has gone positively and we are certainly hopeful that he will be back playing again towards the end of March. As to exactly when that will be I am not sure but it’s weeks rather than months,” said McCall, whose own return to work came as a surprise. 

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“He is not doing any training with the team. He is still with our performance team but he is certainly actively involved in meetings and preparation and that kind of thing off-field… He is getting closer to being able to play again so there are only hopefully three, four, five weeks before he plays again. 

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“He is excited about getting his boots back on, getting out there and helping the team again. He always has got a huge influence anyway, just how smart he is about the game and how good he is at helping a lot of the individuals in the team.”

Second-place Saracens are set to play the 17th match of their Premiership campaign this Saturday at home to leaders Leicester. Farrell has only played in four so far this season and McCall believed his eventual return will be invaluable.  

“To have a world-class player like Owen to come back in for probably the last five, six games of the season is going to be huge for us. The Six Nations will have finished by then so we will get a few other players back. We are hoping to get Aled Davies back pretty soon, Duncan Taylor back pretty soon, so hopefully we have got some difficult selections to make.”

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