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FEATURE – First contact: Owen Farrell’s penalty kick

19 February 2014

  • RFUtv features England players’ first contributions
  • Owen Farrell discusses the importance of his first penalty kick in a Test match

“We talk a lot about the importance of the first hit, the first contact. You cannot underestimate the impact of the crowd, the roar, the singing, the sea of white. That’s our first contact. That’s our competitive advantage.”

Stuart Lancaster is crystal clear on the importance of the opening exchanges in Test rugby.

England fly half Owen Farrell evaluates a penalty chance against Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations

Photo: Getty Images

Ahead of England’s opening home match of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations against Ireland next Saturday, RFUtv looks at the first contributions made by England players in their specialist areas of expertise.

In the fourth of a six-part series this week, Owen Farrell discusses the importance converting his place kicks holds in terms of building a score and rewarding the relentless appetite of England’s abrasive forward pack to win penalties in the opposition’s half.

The Saracens fly half has passed 200 points in an England shirt in just 22 Tests (16 starts) and has converted six of six kicks in the recent defeat to New Zealand for 17 points. In 2012 against Ireland, the next RBS 6 Nations visitors to Twickenham, the then 20-year-old plundered 20 points with the boot.

What goes through Farrell’s mind as he stands over the ball in front of 80,000 people and millions watching around the world? And how does he achieve ice-cold kicking composure in the high-octane world of Test rugby?