Lions coach Andy Farrell praised by Saracens duo Alex Goode and Brad Barritt

Last Updated: 13/12/12 6:58am

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Saracens duo Brad Barritt and Alex Goode have been singing the praises of Andy Farrell after he was announced as an assistant coach to Warren Gatland for the British and Irish Lions.

Farrell has been named alongside Graham Rowntree and Rob Howley as Gatland's assistants for the tour to Australia next summer.

The former rugby league star switched codes to play for Saracens and England before taking up a coaching role with the Aviva Premiership side and then going on to become part of Stuart Lancaster's England staff.

His work with England persuaded Gatland to bring him into his Lions party, and both Barritt and Goode, who know Farrell from both Sarries and England, believe he will be a vital part of the Lions set-up.

"Andy, not just as a coach but as a person, is an amazing guy to have around a team," Barritt told Sky Sports.

"The energy and attitude he has towards a game, the strong work ethic and the way he can build players and build players together, I think he'll be a vital cog in that wheel and best of luck to him."

Goode echoed those sentiments and says that Farrell's achievements as a player help give him the respect needed to get through to the players.

"He's fantastic," said Goode. "Obviously we had him here for a few years and I know him as a player.

"Him coming so soon out of rugby is a good thing, the same with Mike Catt with England, because they've just played rugby recently and only just fallen out of it they're still in touch with the game and have a good empathy with the players.

"That said he was a tough, tough player, a warrior, and achieved so much so it makes it easier to listen and respect what he says which helps a lot.

"What he does is he's very good with the players, he understands us and we try and work hard so he gets the best out of us."

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