Saracens ‘optimistic’ about Owen Farrell’s fitness ahead of Champions Cup clash with Ospreys

·2-min read
Owen Farrell is likely to be involved in this weekend’s Champions Cup clash  (Getty Images)
Owen Farrell is likely to be involved in this weekend’s Champions Cup clash (Getty Images)

Owen Farrell is on course to win his fitness battle for SaracensChampions Cup knockout clash with Ospreys on Sunday.

The England captain returned to Saracens training on Wednesday, in a big step forward in beating his latest ankle injury setback.

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Farrell hobbled out of the closing stages of Saracens’ 36-24 Premiership win over Harlequins at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

The 31-year-old had suffered a recurrence of the left ankle issue picked up on Six Nations duty with England. However, just as with the Test side, Farrell looks primed to shake off the problem quickly enough to avoid missing a crucial match.

“Owen Farrell took part in some of the training today, so we’re relatively optimistic he’ll be available for this weekend,” said Saracens rugby director Mark McCall on Wednesday.

“He didn’t need a scan, he was much better on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday after the pain. He’s trained today, so as long as there’s no reaction to training today I’m sure he’ll be okay.

“He’s our captain, he played brilliantly on the weekend, led the team very well, played really well himself, so fingers crossed he’ll be available.”

Farrell initially picked up the ankle complaint on England duty, but shook off the concern quickly enough to start in the closing 29-16 defeat by Ireland in Dublin on March 18.

The 106-cap England fly-half was forced off during Saturday’s Quins clash having aggravated the original injury however, watching the closing stages of Saracens’ victory while icing the problem joint on the bench.

Farrell’s recovery will offer Saracens a significant boost against an Ospreys side that have already toppled French giants Montpellier twice and Leicester in this season’s Champions Cup.

“To beat Montpellier back-to-back and to win at Leicester just shows you what kind of team the Ospreys are,” said McCall.

“They’ve got a really experienced group, with lots and lots of internationals, who are used to big occasions, big matches like this.

“So for them it will be massive as well, and they are going to be a really tough proposition for us.”