Farrell family to make history for Saracens against Western Force at Woollams
ANDY and Owen Farrell will create history on Friday night as they become the first father and son to feature in a game of professional rugby. The duo have both been named on the bench for the pre-season friendly against Super 14 side the Western Force
ANDY and Owen Farrell will create history on Friday night as they become the first father and son to feature in a game of professional rugby.
The duo have both been named on the bench for the pre-season friendly against Super 14 side the Western Force at Old Albanians RFC, kick off 7.30pm, and the prospect of the 17-year-old Owen, from Harpenden, and his 34-year-old father Andy taking the field together has caused a great deal of excitement in the Farrell household.
Owen, a member of the Saracens Academy, has just returned from an England U18 tour of Argentina and like his Father, plays at inside centre. But with Farrell Snr selected as the fly half replacement for the warm-up match against the Western Australia side, both are set to feature in the game.
"Both of us are really looking forward to it although my wife is nervous enough when one of us is playing, so I don't know what she'll be like tomorrow night," explained Farrell Snr. "But it's going to be a very proud night for the Farrell household and after seeing Owen develop as a player in recent years and him being part of the Saracens Academy, this is something that I always hoped I would get the chance to do.
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"Owen has been working very hard on his game and he's just got back from a successful tour with England U18s to Argentina and it's going to be good for him and some of the other younger guys involved tomorrow night to face some experienced players. It's a testament to the hard work of Eddie Jones and Academy Manager Mike Hynard that we've got a number of exciting youngsters coming through the system."
There will be another first in the game with former Wales and British Lions captain Michael Owen making his debut for Saracens in a line-up that also sees Neil de Kock, Fabio Ongaro and Kevin Sorrell getting their first action of the season.
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Former All Black Chris Jack will captain the side while Steve Borthwick misses the game after being part of the England training camp this week.
Western Force Head Coach John Mitchell has named his side for the game which includes experienced Super 14 campaigners Chris O'Young, Caleb Brown, Matt Hodgson along with Wallabies hooker Tai McIsaac and Farrell is expecting a tough evening in St Albans.
He added: "It's going to be a very good test for the squad against Western Force and it will be completely different to our friendly against Bayonne last week. It was a very physical game in France and we can expect the same on Friday night, but I'm sure the game will be played at a much higher tempo as Super 14 sides like to play rugby - so it will be a good test to get us ready for the start of the season.
"It's an important night for the team but on a personal level, obviously I'm excited by the prospect of Owen and I playing in the same team - what Father wouldn't be? We're both highly competitive in everything we do together in training and this will be the first time we've ever played in the same team. But it will be interesting to see if still calls me Dad out on the pitch and what will happen if he tries to boss me around!"
Kick off at Old Albanians is 7.30pm and tickets are available on the gate priced £10 for adults and
£2 for Juniors.
Saracens team vs Western Force
15 Dan Scarbrough
14 Noah Cato
13 Kevin Sorrell
12 Adam Powell
11 Rodd Penney
10 Glen Jackson
9 Neil de Kock
1 Nick Lloyd
2 Fabio Ongaro
3 Cencus Johnston
4 Harry Spencer
5 Kris Chesney
6 Chris Jack (c)
7 Andy Saull
8 Michael Owen
16 Matt Cairns
17 Tom Mercey
18 Rob Anderson
19 Will Fraser
20 Moses Rauluni
21 Andy Farrell
22 Owen Farrell
23 Jackson Wray
24 Luke Baldwin