England forward Sam Underhill hails return of ‘influential’ captain Owen Farrell for Australia clash

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England forward Sam Underhill hails return of ‘influential’ captain Owen Farrell for Australia clash
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England flanker Sam Underhill has hailed the return of Owen Farrell ahead of their showdown with Australia this weekend.

Farrell missed last week’s 69-3 win over Tonga after he tested positive for Covid-19 in the build-up to the match.

That result has since been confirmed as a false positive and Farrell has been training this week, with the 30-year-old expected to return to the team for Saturday’s clash with the Wallabies.

In Farrell’s absence last week, Northampton Saints forward Courtney Lawes captained the side for the first time.

Underhill has praised the 32-year-old for the job he did, but added the squad are delighted to have Farrell back in camp.

“He’s a brilliant guy to have around. He’s very influential, he’s a very motivational character,” he said.

“He works hard, drives people around him and he brings a good sense of calm. I thought Courtney was excellent in stepping into that role last week, again a very chilled guy but he instils everyone with a lot of confidence. It’s good to have Owen back but I thought we dealt with it well.”

England boast an impressive record against Australia, who were beaten by Scotland last week, and are looking to make it eight wins in a row against their rivals.

But Underhill warned: “They’re a tough team, they’re aggressive, physical, they contest the breakdown a lot and they are a dangerous attacking team.

“When they’ve got the ball they’ve got brilliant individuals who can break tackles, they’re a dangerous team.”

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