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Matt Dawson gives blunt opinion on Owen Farrell’s Lions test chances

Matt Dawson Owen Farrell

“I do not think Farrell is anywhere near guaranteeing himself a test spot.”

Matt Dawson believes that Owen Farrell is in no way guaranteed to start a test for the British and Irish Lions in the wake of Conor Murray being named captain.

Ireland scrum-half Murray was named as Lions captain after Alun Wyn Jones suffered a dislocated shoulder against Japan, despite the Limerick man never captaining his province or his country.

Dawson was writing about Murray’s captaincy in his column for the BBC and stated his belief that Farrell was overlooked for the role as he is a long way off being a guaranteed starter for the Lions against the Springboks.

Matt Dawson speaks about Owen Farrell’s Lions test chances.

“Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray was quickly chosen to take over the captaincy. He would have been on my list of possible choices, but so would Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, Stuart Hogg or Ken Owens,” Dawson wrote.

“You have to take into consideration who is likely to be playing in the tests. If Murray is physically fit, he is the form scrum-half over Gareth Davies or Ali Price.

“I do not think Farrell is anywhere near guaranteeing himself a test spot. Maro is going to be right in the mix, but I do not think it has stood him in good stead playing in the Championship with Saracens.”

Owen Farrell’s Lions career to date.

Farrell was selected for the Lions tour of Australia in 2013 at the age of 21 and won his first test cap for the side when he came off the bench in the third match against the Wallabies.

The Englishman was again selected in 2017 for the Lions’ tour of New Zealand, and started in all three test matches against the All Blacks.

Farrell is the only fly-half touring South Africa that has won a test cap for the Lions, but the England captain is expected to be behind at least Dan Biggar in the pecking order for the test side against South Africa.

The three-times Lions tourist struggled to find form during a disappointing Six Nations campaign with England and was stuck playing second-tier rugby with Saracens in the Greene King IPA Championship at club level.

Despite his country’s poor results and his club’s inability to test themselves against Europe’s top teams, Farrell’s talents are clearly valued by Warren Gatland and he could still have a major role to play in the series with the Springboks.

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