Joe Marler on why Owen Farrell has stepped away from England


England captain Owen Farrell shocked the rugby world last week when he revealed he was taking a break from international rugby and ruling himself out of selection for the Six Nations next year.

A statement was released through his club Saracens, revealing that the playmaker has decided to stand down from England duty in order to “prioritise his and his family’s mental well-being.”

He will, however, continue to play for Saracens and captain the club in the Gallagher Premiership, with Farrell deciding to not release a statement himself.

Joe Marler has played alongside Farrell in the Test arena countless times, with both England and the Lions and he believes fatigue is also a big factor in Farrell’s decision.

“It’s a big call for Faz,” Marler told talkSPORT.

“I suspect he’s probably just shattered; he’s been going since he was 20. And he’s got his own reasons for it, and we can only speculate on some of the stuff he’s put out about it.

“The fact he’s the quarter-back, the general of the team naturally as well as the captain, yeah, there’s a lot of pressure on him.”

But he does believe that the treatment that Farrell gets from the media and certain fans has also played a huge role.

“I guess it’s not helped when he puts so much into it and he gets very little back, in terms of appreciation, or public appreciation. I think he’s underappreciated,” Marler added.

“For Faz, I’m gutted for him, I’m gutted for the England team as well, because he’s a world-class player.

“People recognise he’s a fantastic rugby player, but just because he doesn’t sit in press conferences and he doesn’t warm to the media, or that sort of public appearance, people then think he’s quite cold.

“I think of it a bit like Andy Murray, years back, where he used to get a lot of flak.

“He wouldn’t warm to the media, then he got a little bit older, little bit wiser, and he started giving away a little bit more, his dry sense of humour, he was a little bit more confident in himself. And then people sort of came round to that.

“He’s taken a lot of flak. There’s one thing knocking someone’s performance or playing ability. There’s another thing to start questioning people’s character. And then there’s the abuse he got during the World Cup.”

Follow Me