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Farrell better for SA tour

England fly-half thinks he has returned to Saracens an improved player

Last Updated: 24/07/12 5:39pm

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Owen Farrell: Taking the positives from performance in South Africa

Owen Farrell: Taking the positives from performance in South Africa

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England and Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell insists that this summer's tour of South Africa has improved him as a player.

The 20-year-old started the first match against the Springboks in June but was dropped to the bench for the second and third Tests.

England endured a 2-0 series defeat, drawing the third game, but Farrell says he learnt a lot from the tour despite the negative results and lack of game time.

"The experience of playing in a series like that is what you benefit from most of all," he said.

"It's a massive challenge over there and we had three really tough games that could have gone either way.

"We can take a lot of confidence from that and the experience as a whole was totally beneficial. I didn't see any of the criticism of me. All I wanted to do was play and that pushed me on."

New ground

Farrell has now returned to Saracens and paid a visit to his club's new home at Barnet Copthall Stadium, which is to be renamed Allianz Park.

The club agreed an £8million, six-year deal with Allianz that secures the German financial services provider stadium naming rights and shirt sponsorship.

Saracens hope to move into the stadium in February following a 15-year tenancy at Vicarage Road, a venue which Farrell will retain fond memories of.

"Vicarage Road is the place where I broke into the Saracens first team and I spent my first two seasons there," he said.

"We won the Premiership while we were playing there, which was a privilege. It's a pitch where you play rugby, it doesn't really matter what's going on around it.

"Although attendances weren't what we hoped, we're looking forward to the future and getting into this place.

"Having two home grounds this season won't be a problem. Hopefully we'll turn this place into a fortress and attendances will build and build."

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