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Suspended Farrell plays Sexton role in training


Owen Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Owen Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Owen Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Owen Farrell may be suspended for Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster, but the England captain is still playing a big role for his club.

The out-half has been replicating Johnny Sexton as part of the opposition to this week's starting XV to give them an insight into what is coming in Dublin.

Farrell has a unique insight into what makes the Leinster skipper tick having played alongside him on the 2017 Lions series draw with New Zealand.

Off the pitch, the pair of fierce competitors developed a strong bond despite their regular clashes when playing opposite each other for Ireland and England.

Saracens head coach Mark McCall must choose between inexperienced out-half Manu Vunipola and regular full-back Alex Goode for Farrell's No 10 shirt and the former Ulster supremo will be hoping his talisman's influence will help them through.

"We haven't decided that at the moment," he said when asked about Farrell's role on Saturday.

"He's running the opposition against us, running some of Leinster's plays, so he'll be a huge help to us this week.

"He just wants to help. He regrets the situation he finds himself in but now he just wants to help the team as much as he can.

"He's not being Johnny Sexton, he's just being Owen Farrell playing at 10 for the opposition," added the Sarries head coach.

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