Saracens boss Mark McCall slams 'shameful' treatment of Owen Farrell

Mark McCall came in support of Owen Farrell
Mark McCall came in support of Owen Farrell

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has expressed his concerns regarding the treatment of Owen Farrell, which he believes should serve as a warning for the sport.

The England skipper has opted to skip the upcoming Six Nations to focus on his mental well-being and family, although he will continue playing for Saracens at the club level.

His decision comes after the 32-year-old guided England to a third-place finish in the recent World Cup, narrowly losing to champions South Africa in the semi-finals. Farrell faced heightened criticism, particularly when he was red-carded for a dangerous tackle against Wales in August. Although the decision was overturned in a disciplinary hearing, he later received a ban upon appeal.

During matches in France, the England captain endured frequent booing, sometimes even in the presence of his family at the stadium.

Saracens' director of rugby, McCallm commended Farrell for delivering consistently strong performances despite carrying a significant weight on his shoulders.

"It's remarkable that he played the way he played during the World Cup, if we take into account how he was feeling," McCall said.

"He is a person who is right on top of his game at the moment, yet he and his family have been made to feel the way they feel. It is shameful - it's not right.

"I've worked with Owen for 15 years, every day, and the person that has been portrayed in the media bears no resemblance to the person I know. He's a family man, they've always come first.

"There was a narrative created and started and that's been there for quite some time. There's only so much that someone can take. On top of that, he's a brilliant, caring, supportive team-mate and a loyal friend to many, and a very good, decent human being. That's the person I know.

"It was courageous and brave of him to open up. I admire Owen for many reasons anyway, but even more for doing this. I'm not worried about Europe or the club at all. I'm worried about Owen. We want him to be OK and happy. Clearly he hasn't been."