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Six Nations: “I am hopeful that Owen Farrell will return,” assures Borthwick

England manager Steve Borthwick is “really hopeful” that Owen Farrell will play for England again in the future.

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Six Nations: “I am hopeful that Owen Farrell will return,” assures Borthwick

England manager Steve Borthwick is “really hopeful” that Owen Farrell will play for England again in the future. His captain announced he was taking a break from international rugby for “the good of his mental health” after the Rugby World Cup. “The first thing I will say is that I am full of admiration for this guy, as a man, a player and a leader. It takes a lot of courage to do what he did.”

The former second row attributed this withdrawal to the pressure exerted by social networks. “In England alone we have seen a player – the captain – and two referees retire at the top of their game due to certain issues. There are societal issues happening here. Hate spreading online is not acceptable!”

Asked about a return in the future of Owen Farrell (32 years old, 112 caps), Steve Borthwick was optimistic. “I’m really hopeful he’ll come back. He's one of England's greatest players, one of the greatest captains of all time. But I told him very clearly that there was no pressure on him. It will be his decision. Any team in the world would miss an Owen Farrell.”

With Courtney Lawes having retired from international duty, Borthwick will announce the name of the new captain of the XV de la Rose on January 17.

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