England coach Steve Borthwick has expressed hope that Owen Farrell will return to the international fold.
The 32-year-old is continuing to lead Saracens at club level, and has given no indication as to whether he will return to the international game.
Borthwick says Farrell has the unwavering support of the England camp, and is hopeful he will add to his 112 international caps.
“I believe Owen knows he has all of our support and that we will do anything we can do and deliver anything that he needs at any point in time.
“I am really hopeful that he does return. I think we all hope, as England supporters we all hope he does – this is one of England’s greatest-ever players, greatest-ever captains.
“I am hopeful he will return to play for England again. That will be his decision, and I made that really clear to him, but also I made it really clear there is no pressure on him. That’s his decision, at the time that’s right for him.
“Any team in the world would miss an Owen Farrell. But the work he has done to help create a foundation over these last months, to help reset the England team and move forward, that is part of his legacy through the World Cup.”
Borthwick had a couple of meetings with Farrell following the World Cup, and can understand why he took the decision to step away from the England side.
“The first thing I’ll say is I’m full of admiration for this guy, as a man, a player and a leader,” Borthwick said. “It takes a lot of courage to do what he’s done.
“This is fast paced, and changing, and I don’t think any of us expected what happened at that World Cup in that area, or for it to be at that level of vitriol against certain people and certain teams.
“We’ve looked really closely at what support we give for our players, management team, the officials, the families of everyone involved in the team. There is a big area there where we’re looking to ensure we’re maximising every bit of support we can get.”
England will be without Farrell for the Six Nations which gets underway on February 2 and runs to March 16.
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