Eddie Jones has revealed how he’ll be using key man Owen Farrell this autumn, and he’ll be ignoring the suggestions of World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward
England coach Eddie Jones has revealed his plans for Owen Farrell this autumn – and he won’t be following the advice of Sir Clive Woodward.
England captain Farrell, 30, is part the squad for the upcoming internationals against Tonga, Australia, and South Africa, but the inclusion of young star Marcus Smith has cast doubts on whether the 93-cap international will play in his favoured no 10 role.
Farrell, who toured with the Lions in both 2017 and 2021, has played at 12 for England on many occasions, with George Ford taking the outside-half role, but Woodward has said that Smith’s selection should see him demoted to the replacements’ bench.
“I’ve been a huge Farrell supporter and still am, but as a No 10, not at 12,” Woodward, 65, wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“At his best he is a world-class 10 as opposed to a decent 12. There’s a big difference at elite level and deep down he wants No 10 on his back.
“So now it is crunch time for head coach Eddie Jones. It’s either Smith or Farrell at 10. If Smith gets the nod, Farrell must go on the bench.”
Jones however, won’t be taking the advice of the man who famously led England to the World Cup in 2003.
In an interview on BT Sport , Jones, 61, spoke about his plans to utilise Farrell alongside Harlequins prodigy Smith, as well as his reasoning for dropping Ford.
“We know George is a good player but we’ve asked him to have a look at a couple of things in his game to make him even better,” said Jones.
“I think he is doing that. He is playing well.
“But we are keen to give Marcus and Owen the opportunity to play at 10 and 12 and see where they can take our game.”
Smith, 22, burst onto the scene during the 2020-21 campaign, playing a key role in his side’s thrilling 40-38 win over the Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership final.
He duly made his international debut in July, contributing 13 points in a win over the USA, before producing a faultless kicking display the following week against Canada.
Following that game, he was called up to the British Lions’ tour in South Africa, where he played against the Stormers.