Wednesday 22 November 2017

Owen Farrell a major doubt to face Scotland after failing to take part in full captain's run

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Owen Farrell, the England centre, receives attention from England physio Phil Pask (R) and Rob Young, the team doctor during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on March 9, 2017 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Owen Farrell, the England centre, receives attention from England physio Phil Pask (R) and Rob Young, the team doctor during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on March 9, 2017 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Jack de Menezes

Owen Farrell failed to take part in full training for England on Friday, raising serious doubts about his participation in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland.

England will attempt to match New Zealand’s record of winning 18 matches in a row this weekend, and move to within one game of a second consecutive Six Nations Grand Slam, should they beat the Scots and see off Ireland next weekend.

But they may have to do so without influential cente Farrell. The England vice-captain has to leave training early on Thursday after being struck down with a leg injury which required treatment from the medical team, and despite Eddie Jones’s best attempts to cover up the scare – claiming he hurt himself chasing Jones’s dog, Annie – it was clear that the coaching staff had concerns over Farrell.

The 25-year-old was expected to train in Friday’s Captain’s Run at Twickenham, but he did not join the rest of the team in running through their drills, with Ben Te’o wearing the No 12 bib that Farrell would normally fill. The Saracens half-back instead trained on his own with former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who was also in attendance at Pennyhill Park on Thursday when Farrell suffered the injury.

A video released by England Rugby’s Twitter account showed the squad running out for training on Friday morning, with Farrell lagging behind the team as he headed out for his own individual session.

It’s not yet known if Te’o will replace Farrell in the starting line-up for Saturday afternoon’s encounter, and England have until an hour before kick-off at 16:00 to submit their final team. Should Farrell fall short in his bid to be fit, then Te’o will come into the side with the uncapped Saracens fly-half Alex Lozowski added to the replacements.

Farrell celebrated receiving his 50th cap in the 36-15 win over Italy last time out, and has started every one of Jones’s 16 matches in charge of England.

(© Independent News Service)

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