England captain Owen Farell hailed as one of rugby’s greats as the No 10 prepares to break Jonny Wilkinson’s record as the country’s leading point scorer against Samoa
- Owen Farrell is just a single point away from breaking Jonny Wilkinson’s record
- The record stood since 2011 but Wilkinson retired from Test rugby the same year
- England take on Samoa on Saturday having already qualified for the quarters
Owen Farrell has been recognised as one of English rugby’s unheralded greats as he prepares to overtake Jonny Wilkinson as the country’s leading points scorer.
England’s captain is one conversion away from overtaking Wilkinson’s record haul of 1,179 that has stood since 2011.
Farrell has never enjoyed the same acclaim as Wilkinson but some of the sport’s biggest names paid tribute to him ahead of today’s World Cup game against Samoa.
Former England coach Eddie Jones told Mail Sport: ‘Owen is a fantastic player – a real warrior. When he’s at his best and playing well, he makes such a difference to that team. That record is just testament to his desire, his hard work and his ability to influence the players around him.
‘He probably isn’t remembered as one of the best in the world, but breaking that points-scoring record is a real reflection of the sort of player he’s been.’
Owen Farrell needs one point to break the record and become England’s leading points scorer
Jonny Wilkinson has held the record since 2011, but he retired from Test rugby in the same year
Farrell will start in the No12 jersey on Saturday, lining up beside his long-time team-mate George Ford.
Joining the applause, Sir Clive Woodward said: ‘In my humble opinion, Jonny Wilkinson is the best No 10 in the history of English rugby because of his achievements in the game.
‘For Owen Farrell to go past Wilkinson’s points record – as he is likely to do against Samoa today – is a great testament to his career and the resilience he’s shown. Farrell is a fantastic player who, unlike Wilkinson, perhaps doesn’t get the praise he deserves.
‘Becoming the highest points scorer in English rugby is recognition of just how important he is to the national side. I’d like to say a big well done to Farrell and wish him good luck for the weekend and the rest of the World Cup.’
England have already qualified for the quarter-final, where they are likely to face Fiji.
Sir Clive Woodward hailed fly-half and captain Owen Farrell as an underrated England great
England v Samoa: Pre-match facts
England: Steward; Marchant, Tuilagi, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Mitchell; Genge, George, Cole, Itoje, Chessum, Lawes, Curry, Earl.
Replacements: Dan, Marler, Sinckler, Martin, Vunipola, Care, Smith, Lawrence.
Samoa: Paia’aua; Ah Wong, Manu, Toala, Fomai; Sopoaga, Taumateine; Jordan Lay, Malolo, Alaalatoa, Slade, Alainu’u’ese, McFarland, Lee, Luatua.
Replacements: Lam, James Lay, Alo-Emile, Fa’aso’o, Motuga, Matavao, Lealiifano, Fai’ilagi.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Kick-off: 4.45pm, Saturday October 7
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