Sanderson: Farrell best man to lead us to Japan
EDDIE Jones has been urged to dump Dylan Hartley and keep Owen Farrell as his captain right up to the World Cup.
The England head coach praised Farrell for the way he stepped in and led the team on the tour of South Africa, despite losing the series 2-1.
Before the trip, Jones cast doubts over whether hooker Hartley, 32, would be able to come straight back into the side in the Autumn.
The Aussie coach will will not hesitate to turn to the Saracens centre again if Hartley, who has spent the summer at home recovering from his Six Nations concussion and preparing for this month’s wedding to fiance Joanne, is not ready either fitness or form-wise to start.
England lost the series to the Springboks but as far as Saracens coach Alex Sanderson is concerned, 26-year-old Farrell should be given the job full-time. regardless of Hartley’s situation.
Sanderson argues now is the time to hand over the captain’s baton rather than waiting to see if Hartley rediscovers his form and fitness come September.
Sanderson insists: “Faz is the right person right now. I have grown up with him and I know his parents. I know the quality of the individual.
“I texted Faz a few times
while he was over there and since he came back.
“I felt he did a brilliant job. He was changing cultures and it can be difficult just to jump straight into that role and get everyone singing off the same hymn sheet straight away.”
Sanderson adds: “Farrell, below, is not our captain at Sarries but he is a big, big leader for us. Seeing how he led the lads in the back half of the season, I have no doubts he is the best man for the England job.
“Being captain of his country, with the added responsibility for the rest of the team and how it performs on the field, would also make him a better player. We’ve all seen it. He is so competitive, driven and aggressive sometimes that spills over into his game. You have got to be prepared to play on the edge and bottle it up at the same time. Those are traits of a great player. “As captain he would have to temper that to bring other people with him. And that is a skill he is getting better and better at. His main frustration is making sure those around him are on the same level of performance and commitment as he is on the field.
“No matter how it comes across on the TV he is doing everything for the right reasons. He is doing it to drive the team.”