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Owen Farrell
  1. Rugby Union

England star Owen Farrell to join Racing 92 at the end of the season

England fly-half Owen Farrell will bring to an end his 16-year stay at Saracens at the end of the season as it was announced that the 32-year-old will join French side Racing 92.

The Sarries captain has spent his entire career at the north London side and has worn the armband since April 2021, replacing Brad Barritt.

His move to France will see him join up with fellow England internationals Christian Wade and Henry Arundell, but what could this move mean for Farrell on the international stage?

Rugby Union

A Sarries legend 

There is unlikely to be a dry eye in the house when Farrell leaves the StoneX Stadium at the end of the campaign, with the fly-half being a loyal, ever-present servant to the club since making his debut in 2008.

Farrell made his debut for the club just 10 days after his 17th birthday, the youngest ever Premiership debutant at the time.

Not many will have predicted the accolades and accomplishments he would accrue after this debut, a 26-17 defeat to Llanelli Scarlets, with a total of 10 trophies lifted as well as two European Player of the Year awards.

Farrell will likely be most fondly remembered for his part in arguably the club’s greatest ever side between 2015 and 2019, where Sarries lifted four Premiership titles as well as three European Champions Cups in the space of five years.

He will also leave the side as their record point scorer in the Premiership, with 1,679 points scored to date, as well as their ninth all-time appearance maker.

More titles on the horizon

Farrell is joining a Racing side currently in fine form as they look to win their first Top 14 title since 2016, with the northern French outfit four points clear at the head of the table.

The Sky Blue and Whites are also still in the Champions Cup, although they will face the most successful club in Europe in Toulouse in the Round of 16.

Farrell is set to join Racing as first choice fly-half, with the side low on reinforcements in this area. 

Antoine Gibert, Martin Meliande and Tristan Tedder are the only recognised players in this position for Racing, and Farrell’s wealth of experience is likely to prove invaluable for his fellow fly-halves, who are all yet to be capped at international level.

And Farrell has some big boots to fill. In the last decade, Racing have flaunted a number of household names in the fly-half position.

Jonny Sexton joined the club in 2013 before returning to Leinster two years later. His successor was All Blacks legend Dan Carter, who then passed the torch onto Finn Russell, with the Scotland international enjoying a five-year stint in Paris before his move to Bath in the summer of 2023.

Farrell to forgo England career

The announcement of Farrell’s move to Racing comes only two months after the fly-half removed himself from consideration for the England squad ahead of the upcoming Six Nations.

Looking to focus on his club rugby with Saracens, Farrell also stepped down as captain for his national team, having appeared 112 times for England.

His move to France will bring with it a better pay packet after wage caps were further restricted in the Premiership last season, however this could come at a severe cost to his international career.

Rugby Football Union rules dictate that no player playing for clubs outside of England may be eligible for selection for international duty, although an exception to this rule was made after the folding of clubs Wasps and Worcester.

This means that there is every chance that we have seen the last of Farrell in an England shirt for quite some time after the fly-half’s self-omission.

There may still be hope for Farrell in selection for the British & Irish Lions, with his father Andy Farrell recently appointed head coach for the tour of Australia in 2025.

Only time will tell how long Farrell will stay in France, but for the meantime this looks like the end of an era for both the player, Saracens and England, who are 6/1 to win the 2024 Six Nations.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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