Premiership Rugby

Owen Farrell Prioritizes Mental Health, Steps Back From Six Nations

Owen Farrell Prioritizes Mental Health, Steps Back From Six Nations

Owen Farrell is planning a break from the 2024 Six Nations to prioritize his mental well-being. The rugby community is rallying in support.

Nov 29, 2023 by Philip Bendon
Owen Farrell Prioritizes Mental Health, Steps Back From Six Nations

England Rugby captain Owen Farrell has announced his decision to opt out of the 2024 Six Nations, choosing to prioritize his mental well-being and that of his family. 

The 32-year-old, boasting an impressive 112 test caps for England, recently led his country to a commendable third-place finish at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. 

Despite his stellar career, Farrell's recent form and his role in Steve Borthwick's starting lineup, coupled with his interactions with referees, have faced scrutiny. 

Nevertheless, the seasoned player surpassed Jonny Wilkinson during the World Cup to become England's all-time leading point scorer. 

Farrell's rugby accolades include a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016, two additional Six Nations titles in 2017 and 2020, and two series wins against Australia in 2016 and 2022. Farrell also contributed to three British & Irish Lions tours in 2013, 2017 and 2021. 

The announcement of Farrell's hiatus from international duty came through a statement from his club, Saracens. 

The statement conveyed that Farrell had made the decision to step back from international rugby to prioritize, not just his well-being, but also that of his family. 

The club assured fans that he would continue to play for Saracens and retain his role as club captain, emphasizing their unwavering support for his decision. 

"Owen Farrell has decided to take a break from international rugby in order to prioritize his and his family's mental well-being," the statement read. "He will continue to play for Saracens and captain the club. As always, Owen will have the full support of everyone at the club." 

The Rugby Football Union echoed Saracens' sentiments, stating that everyone at England Rugby fully supports Farrell's decision. 

Acknowledging his integral role in the national team for over a decade, the RFU emphasized the challenges elite athletes face and commended Farrell's courage in addressing his mental well-being. 

The RFU pledged to provide the necessary support to ensure Farrell's well-being and expressed confidence that, with the collective efforts of England Rugby, he would navigate this challenging period. 

Farrell's decision sheds light on the mental toll elite athletes endure and reinforces the importance of prioritizing mental health in professional sports. 

As fans await his return, the rugby community rallies behind Farrell, acknowledging his prowess on the field and his courage in addressing the realities of mental well-being in the world of sports.