England's Farrell to play for World XV against France

Owen Farrell is leaving Saracens at the end of the season to join French club Racing 92 (ROMAIN PERROCHEAU)
Owen Farrell is leaving Saracens at the end of the season to join French club Racing 92 (ROMAIN PERROCHEAU)

Former England captain Owen Farrell will line up for a World XV when it takes on France in Bilbao on June 22, the match organisers announced on Friday.

The 32-year-old fly-half has been in international exile since leading England to third place at last year's World Cup in France.

When this season finishes he will end his time at Saracens which stretches back to 2008 to join French Top 14 side Racing 92.

"The World XV continues to recruit world-class stars and the latest to confirm his presence in the team is England fly-half Owen Farrell," the organisers wrote in a statement.

The World XV, which will have former All Blacks coach Ian Foster at the helm, already boasts two of Farrell's former teammates for club and country, Mako Vunipola and his brother Billy.

Fijian flier Semi Radradra and former France half-backs Maxime Machenaud and Camille Lopez, as well as prop Tevita Tatafu, have also agreed to play for the World XV.

“The prospect of playing for the World XV is incredibly exciting,” said Farrell.

“This will be the first time I will have played for an invitation team such as the World XV and joining up with guys you normally line up against for club or country, such as Semi Radradra, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, in a less pressurised environment is something I am really looking forward to.

“I am sure the players will want to get out there and play in an entertaining manner and put on an amazing spectacle for the Basque and French people to experience.

“No doubt the French team will also bring their notorious French flair come matchday too. It should be an awesome week and match in Bilbao."

The match will act as a warm-up for France, who will be missing players involved in the final four of the Top 14, ahead of their summer tour of South America, where they will play two Tests against Argentina and one against Uruguay.