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Farrell: I'm better for SA tour
ESPN Staff
July 25, 2012
South Africa's Jacques Potgieter breaks through Owen Farrell, South Africa v England, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, June 23, 2012
Farrell tackles Springbok Jacques Potgieter during England's tour © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Owen Farrell
Teams: England | Saracens

England fly-half Owen Farrell is confident he is a better player for his experiences on tour in South Africa.

The Saracens playmaker started the first Test against the Springboks but lost his place to Leicester's Toby Flood for the second and third Tests as England lost the series 2-0. But Farrell insists he has improved as a player for facing the South Africans.

"The experience of playing in a series like that is what you benefit from most of all," he said. "It's a massive challenge over there and we had three really tough games that could have gone either way.

"We can take a lot of confidence from that and the experience as a whole was totally beneficial. I didn't see any of the criticism of me. All I wanted to do was play and that pushed me on."

Farrell was speaking at Saracens' new home ground at Barnet Copthall Stadium, which is to be renamed Allianz Park. Saracens hope to move into their new home in Hendon, north London, in February following a 15-year tenancy at Vicarage Road.

Farrell is looking forward to moving into the new ground but retains some fond memories of playing at Vicarage Road.

"Vicarage Road is the place where I broke into the Saracens first team and I spent my first two seasons there," he said. "We won the Premiership while we were playing there, which was a privilege.

"It's a pitch where you play rugby, it doesn't really matter what's going on around it. Although attendances weren't what we hoped, we're looking forward to the future and getting into this place.

"Having two home grounds this season won't be a problem. Hopefully we'll turn this place into a fortress and attendances will build and build."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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