England's Attack Coach Disagrees with Booing Fans, Defends Owen Farrell


England’s Attack Coach Disagrees with Booing Fans, Defends Owen Farrell

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England’s captain, Owen Farrell, faced widespread booing from fans despite an outstanding performance that secured his team a spot in the World Cup semi-finals. In Sunday’s match against Fiji, Farrell, returning to fly-half, scored an impressive 20 points, including crucial late kicks to break the 24-24 tie. Although he was later named the official man of the match, the crowd vehemently booed him when his name was announced.

Richard Wigglesworth, England’s attack coach and former teammate of Farrell’s at Saracens, expressed his dismay at the unwarranted criticism Farrell receives. Despite becoming England’s record points scorer, Farrell remains a divisive figure, and Wigglesworth finds it perplexing that such a talented player is not celebrated more.

“We are lucky to have him,” Wigglesworth stated. “As ever, the tallest trees catch the most wind, and he seems to catch a fair bit of it. [He’s] proven [himself] time and time and time again, and I don’t understand why in England we feel the need to not celebrate that, not enjoy it, just because he is not sat in front of social media or media lapping all that up.”

Wigglesworth emphasized Farrell’s dedication to his career, his pride as an Englishman, and his consistent impact on any team he plays for. Despite the negativity, Wigglesworth and the team knew what to expect from Farrell, and his performance lived up to their expectations.

Ellis Genge, the loosehead prop, joined Wigglesworth in defending Farrell, acknowledging that criticism serves as motivation. Genge stated, “Faz, he gets a lot of grief, but you are happy to have him in the team every time. I quite like the noise and having our backs up against the wall, with everyone wanting us to lose. That probably fuels me a bit. Others are probably better off blocking it out.”

While Wigglesworth praised the majority of supportive fans in the stadium, he recognized that negative comments often garner more attention. Despite this, he emphasized that the team is appreciative of the tremendous support they receive.

The defense of Farrell extends beyond the pitch, with both coaches and players expressing gratitude for having such a skilled and committed player on their team.



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