Farrell set for Saracens return
ENGLISH and European champions Saracens beat Wasps 30-14 on October 9 and then received a further boost in the form of the return of England goalkicker Owen Farrell from injury.
Saracens are optimistic Farrell will make his first appearance of the season when they face French club Toulon in the European Champions Cup on October 15.
Back and hip injuries have sidelined Farrell but he has been taking part in kicking training ahead of England’s end-of-year internationals at Twickenham, which start with a clash against South Africa on November 12.
“Owen was with the team for Wasps,” said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall. “He warmed up with them and place-kicked for the first time before the game.
“If everything goes to plan, then hopefully he’ll be available for this weekend.”
McCall added, “He’s an influential member of the squad and it’s good to have him around the team.
“I think he could definitely come straight into the team. Six weeks isn’t so long. We’ll assess that in training.”
“Alex Lozowski has put his case forward so it’s a big shout for us, but Owen is a world-class fly-half.”
“For us to have won five of our first six league games without the likes of Owen, Duncan Taylor and Chris Ashton is a good achievement.”
Earlier, England hooker Jamie George came off the bench to score two tries as Saracens ended Wasps’ 100 percent start to the season.
“We lost to the better team,” said Wasps director of rugby Dai Young.
“We weren’t allowed to play. You have to give Saracens a lot of credit: They really strangled us and didn’t allow us to play.”
He added, “We’ve made a really good start to the season, but we’ve come to the home of the double champions and it was a little too much for us.
“It’s not all doom and gloom because it’s the first game we’ve lost, but if you’re going to lose to anyone it should be the double winners.
“We’re disappointed because we didn’t look like we fired enough shots, but that’s because of how good Saracens were defensively.”
Defeat at London club Saracens’ home ground was tough on Wasps and former England fly-half Danny Cipriani.
The playmaker has been overlooked by Eddie Jones since the Australian became England coach after last year’s World Cup.
Last month the former Wallaby boss made it clear that, as George Ford and Owen Farrell were his first-choice fly-half/inside centre combination, there was no place for Cipriani in the Test set-up unless he could be the “main man” and “when he plays well enough to be number one he’ll be in the squad.”
But with Jones among the Allianz Park crowd on Sunday, Cipriani set up Wasps’ lone try with a brilliant step-and-go before making another eye-catching break in the second half. –