Farrell not giving into Carter hype

Date published: May 12 2016

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell is putting personal battles aside as he heads into the Champions Cup final against Racing 92.

24-year-old Farrell will line up against the two-time World Cup winner and World Rugby Player of The Year, Dan Carter, for the first time on a domestic stage as the Premiership champions face the Top 14 side in Lyon 

The England pivot is full of admiration for his opposite number ahead of the game.

"He’s the world Player of the Year and you don’t get that for nothing. He’s a fantastic player," Farrell told the Saracens official website.

"You learn a lot from the best players who play the game and he’s definitely one of them.

"He’s a classy player who holds himself in a classy way. He’s been at the top for a long, long time. 

"In that regard everyone – and definitely myself – has nothing but respect for him."

However, while their clubs go head-to-head for the Northern Hemisphere’s most sought after club prize, Farrell insists he is not in direct competition with Carter.

"I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a game and thought it was a personal battle with the opposite 10.

"As a 10 your job is to control the team, control what you’re doing and execute the plan you’ve come up with.

"It’s not about trying to outdo the person in front of you, it’s broader than that. 

"We’ve definitely looked at him and we’ll continue to analyse but at the same time we need to make sure we concentrate on ourselves."

Saracens go into the showpiece event looking to write the wrongs of two years ago when they came unstuck at the hands of a star-studded Toulon outfit in Cardiff.

The North London club slipped to a 23-6 defeat that day and suffered further heartbreak just seven days later in the Premiership final, an experience Farrell cites as a learning experience for the club.

"You have to learn from big games and big experiences, especially ones where it doesn't go your way," he said. You have to take everything you possibly can. I know we are a different team since then and we know we have got better. We are just excited about hopefully putting in a big performance at the weekend.

"It was two finals in two weeks that year and it took it out of you there and then and it was good for us that we had to get on the plane the next day for the England tour to New Zealand. 

"I don't know what I would have done if I had been sat at home thinking about it for however many weeks."