Racing 92 respond to French reports of shock Owen Farrell switch

Owen Farrell has been linked with a move to Racing 92  (Getty Images)
Owen Farrell has been linked with a move to Racing 92 (Getty Images)

Top 14 club Racing 92 have denied reaching an agreement with Owen Farrell after reports in France stated the fly half was in “advanced negotiations” over a shock move to France.

Farrell will be absent from England’s upcoming Six Nations campaign after taking a break from international rugby to prioritise his mental wellbeing.

And both L’Equipe and Midi Olympique, two major French sporting newspapers, suggest that Farrell could be close to an agreement to move to Paris ahead of next season.

“The contract has not yet been signed but a positive outcome is hoped for in the coming days on the basis of a three-season contract,” L’Equipe, based in the French capital, reports.

However, on Friday evening, Racing 92 denied any agreement had been reached in a short statement: “Racing 92 is regularly under the aegis of numerous speculations concerning movements within its workforce. We are delighted with the appeal of our club Racing 92. However, we deny any agreement concerning the English player Owen Farrell.”

The fly half, who became his nation’s leading points scorer during the Rugby World Cup, is thought to be out of contract with Saracens at the end of the season but had been expected to re-sign with the Premiership champions having spent the entirety of his career with the club.

Racing 92 are now coached by Stuart Lancaster, who gave Farrell his England debut in 2012 after developing the playmaker through the pathways structure.

Farrell enjoyed a good working relationship with his first England coach, while father Andy — now in charge of Ireland and set to be confirmed as coach of the British and Irish Lions for the 2025 tour of Australia next week — was part of Lancaster’s staff.

Racing 92 have been seeking a replacement at fly half for Finn Russell, who joined Bath in the summer, and held talks with Marcus Smith last season.

English youngster Henry Arundell recently signed a two-year contract extension at the capital club after arriving in the Top 14 in the wake of the demise of London Irish.

Owen Farrell had been expected to re-sign with Saracens (Getty Images)
Owen Farrell had been expected to re-sign with Saracens (Getty Images)

Were Farrell to join Racing 92, he would become unavailable for international selection, with only players based in England currently able to be selected by Steve Borthwick.

The England head coach expressed his hope this week that Farrell would play for England again despite the 32-year-old’s decision to step away from international duty.

“I believe Owen knows he has all of our support and anything we can do, anything he needs at any point in time,” Borthwick said. “We’re all hopeful he’ll return to the England team at some point soon. But that’s going to be a decision Owen makes.

“This is one of England’s greatest ever players, greatest ever captains. I am hopeful he will return and play for England again. But I also made it really clear there is no pressure on him, that it is his decision, at the time that’s right for him.”