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England 14:30 New Zealand

Owen Farrell claims his rivalry with Toby Flood for the fly-half jersey can be good for England

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 21/11/12 12:13pm

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Owen Farrell: Is relishing the friendly rivalry with Toby Flood

Owen Farrell: Is relishing the friendly rivalry with Toby Flood

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Owen Farrell is relishing the "healthy competition" for the England No 10 jersey with Toby Flood.

Having made an impressive start to his international career, Farrell has had to take a back seat over the past four Tests - with Flood getting the nod at fly-half.

Farrell, who has weighed in with 83 points in 10 Tests, has come off the bench against South Africa (twice), Fiji and Australia - filling a variety of roles.

However the 21-year-old has his sights set on making the fly-half role his own - and he believes that his rivalry with Flood can only be good for England.

"It is a competitive environment, with lots of good players pushing to be involved," Farrell told Sky Sports.

"What we have, though, is a group of players who are putting the team first rather than any individual goals. Everyone encourages each other.

"I think there is a healthy competition between Toby and myself. We are constantly talking on how to break teams down and how to better the team.

"He is a world-class player and it is great to be able to learn off of him. We push each other."


Saracens ace Farrell is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench on Saturday against South Africa yet again, despite England having come underfire for their loss to Australia.

World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward was among those that were quick to criticise England after they were edged out 20-14 at Twickenham - however Farrell insists that the squad do not pay attention to the comments.

Farrell said: "The only opinions that matter are those from the people around you such as the coaches and the players. They are the ones that you have your trust in."

Despite the obvious disappointment at missing out on a great chance to beat the Wallabies, Farrell insists England have reason to be confident against the Springboks.

"There were lots of positives to come out of the Australia game, but we know that there is stuff we need to work on, too," he said.

"We know it will be a massively physical game against South Africa and that is what are focus is now on."

England lost 22-17 and 36-27 to the Boks in the summer before regrouping to draw the final Test 14-14.

And Farrell added: "We had those three games against them in the summer and I felt we got better as the series went on. It is just those fine margins when two good teams go head to head."

Owen Farrell is representing the England team. O2 is a proud supporter of the England team. Watch the latest episode of O2 Inside Line for more behind the scenes footage from inside the England camp. Visit

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