Farrell: I'm better for SA tour
July 25, 2012
Farrell tackles Springbok Jacques Potgieter during England's tour © PA Photos
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.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points