Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Ready to Retire, Says Discarded Farrell; on the Charge: Andy Farrell Is Determined to Turn on the Style in Saracens' Clash with Biarritz in the Heineken Cup Tomorrow

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Ready to Retire, Says Discarded Farrell; on the Charge: Andy Farrell Is Determined to Turn on the Style in Saracens' Clash with Biarritz in the Heineken Cup Tomorrow

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

ANDY FARRELL and the entire Saracens team will attempt to prove theEngland selectors wrong when they face Biarritz in the Heineken Cup tomorrow.

The former rugby league star was axed by Brian Ashton when the head coach namedhis 32-man squad for the Six Nations and the pain of rejection was heightenedby the choice of Gloucester wing Lesley Vainikolo, who has switched codes thisseason.

With Jason Robinson having retired, Farrell was supposed to be the biggestformer league name in the union game, but the Tongan-born Vainikolo has nowassumed that standing.

Farrell's case for a call-up appears to be hampered by the selectors' decisionthis week to ignore any Sarries players for the England and England Saxonssquads. In contrast, London Wasps supply nine players, London Irish six andHarlequins five.

The 32-year-old helped England reach the final of the Rugby World Cup but thecentre knows that he can only work his way back into Ashton's plans byimpressing for his club.

"I am big enough to take not getting picked and at some stage in everyone'scareer someone is going to come and take over," he said.

"I've seen a lot of people retire, but I want to retire for the right reasons.I am thoroughly enjoying playing and fit enough to play at the top level. I amquite happy with my form and believe my best rugby union is still ahead of me.

"I am getting better with every game I play and becoming a lot more confidentevery time I take the field." Despite the absence of Sarries names in theEngland squads, the club are having a good seasonthey are pressing for a second successive top-four finish in the GuinnessPremiership and have a great chance of making the Heineken Cup quarter-finalsif they can defeat Biarritz at Vicarage Road..

Farrell added: "To win a trophy with Sarries would be fantastic, but what weneed is to get that rugged dominance, the likes that Wasps and Leicester show.

"These are exciting times for the club but we have had a blip over the lastcouple of weeks losing to Newcastle and Bristol in the league and we need toshow how good a side we have become when we play Biarritz. …

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