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England rugby hotshot Owen Farrell still learning and improving
OWEN Farrell seems to have the world at his feet but insists he is far from being the finished article.
Since bursting on to the scene against Scotland at centre, to open the 2012 Six Nations, Farrell has made the England No.10 shirt his own, despite the likes of Toby Flood and Freddie Burns doing their best to wrestle it from him.
And, 364 days since that Red Rose debut, Farrell was back out for England against the same opponents on Saturday, helping lift another Calcutta Cup as he kicked seven of his eight kicks.
This dead-eye accuracy with the boot, as well as his missed pass to send Geoff Parling galloping away for a try at Twickenham at the weekend, means Farrell’s name is now one of the first on Stuart Lancaster’s teamsheet.
But the Saracens man isn’t about to get carried away. He's adamant that, at 21, he still has a lot to learn.
“People seem to talk about me sometimes as if I have made it and have nothing to learn but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know I am not the finished article by any means,” he said.
“You have to focus on what is in front of you and, if you take your eye off it, you will slip up. There are a lot of good players to come and take your place if you don’t do that.
“You want to be as best prepared as you can be for the next game.
“Getting into international rugby and playing in your first games only makes you want to work harder and keep progressing. If you don’t do that, you are only going backwards.
“The more big games you play in, the more experience you get and the better you are as a player normally and that is what I am trying to do.”
Such has been Farrell’s meteoric rise that he is already been talked about as a shoe-in for the British and Irish Lions Tour of Australia this summer only a year-and-a-half since making his international debut.
This Sunday, he faces the only other man seemingly capable of stealing that fly-half spot from him as England travel to the Aviva Stadium to take on Ireland and Jonathan Sexton.
But Farrell isn’t about to get bogged down in what might happen this summer, instead concentrating on the job at hand.
“Sexton is an outstanding player. He controls a game really well and can do things others can’t. That's why he has earned a big money move,” he added.
“But I will let everyone else talk about who should be in the Lions squad or not or who should start at fly-half.
“It has not and will not enter my mind. I am focused on the Six Nations now and nothing else with England.”
Owen Farrell is representing the England team for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Official partner of the RFU. Marriott Hotels & Resorts is giving away a two-night break in Europe every time England score a try in the RBS 6 Nations. Go to Facebook.com/MarriottHotelsUK for more details.