Lancaster fights back over Farrell

Date published: November 20 2014

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England head coach Stuart Lancaster has reiterated that Owen Farrell is ‘dropable’ after criticism over his selection.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has reiterated that Owen Farrell is ‘dropable’ after criticism over his selection.

Farrell has been shifted to inside centre for England’s Test with Samoa this weekend after two unconvincing games at fly-half in the last two weeks.

Fans had questioned whether favouritism was keeping Farrell in the Test side, with Lancaster quick to show that he had been dropped in the past.

“If there’s a perception that I’ve never dropped Owen Farrell, then that’s wrong,” said Lancaster.

“He was dropped in South Africa when we were on tour and he didn’t play in any of the autumn internationals in 2012 in the lead up to that New Zealand game.”

Lancaster also described claims that there was any influence from Owen’s father Andy Farrell over selection as nonsense.

“Can I put that one to bed, please?

“I can categorically say that there is no influence of Andy in the selection of Owen whatsoever. I make the decision. I consult (attacking skills coach) Mike Catt more than Andy when it comes to Owen.

“Mike has his view but I make the decision on it. Andy has a view, but to suggest that he in anyway would influence selection is completely wrong.

“In terms of questioning the integrity of them as a father and son unit in their family, I think that would be completely wrong.

“If you ask the players, they will say it is a completely coach-player relationship. I’ve seen Mike Ford and George Ford operate in the same relationship.

“I’ve got a son who’s 13, I coach him and if you ask anyone you are probably harder on your own children.”

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