England RU's Owen Farrell "hated" leaving Wigan

Owen Farrell says he's still a big Wigan Warriors fan
Owen Farrell says he's still a big Wigan Warriors fan

Owen Farrell has revealed how he "hated" his move away from Wigan as a schoolboy.

The England RU captain left his hometown when his dad, Andy, left the Warriors to move to Saracens.

The ex-Great Britain skipper uprooted his family to make the code-switch but his teenage son says he went "kicking and screaming".

"I hated the fact I was leaving Wigan," he told the England RU podcast.

"I got dragged down, I hated it.

"All my friends were there (in Wigan), I was the most difficult child of us all moving down south, but I ended up being the one who settled in quickest

"I hated the thought of a new school and make new friends - I didn't want to do anything different but it was brilliant."

In the podcast on the RFU website, interviewer Vernon Kay recalls how he used to see his dad around when he was a student in Wigan, attending St John Rigby College, in Orrell.

And though Farrell, 27, has become a household name in rugby union he is still a big fan of the code where he first began learning his craft - not only training and playing at St Pat's and St John Fisher High, but also from watching the Warriors up close.

"Wigan is rugby league mad, as a kid I was lucky to tag along to training and watch this unbelievable team work behind the scenes," said Farrell, nephew of captain Sean O'Loughlin.

"It was a massive privileged looking back on it.

"I loved going watching my dad everywhere, and watching Wigan, and I still do - I've still got family playing for Wigan."

England, unbeaten in two Six Nations matches, face Wales on Saturday.

Leigh Halfpenny is in training with Wales. The Scarlets full-back has not played since suffering concussion when Wales beat Australia on November 10.

Wales released him back to the Scarlets for last weekend's Guinness PRO14 appointment with Benetton, but he was not included in their match-day 23.

Fly-half Dan Biggar, who went off with his knee heavily strapped during Northampton's Gallagher Premiership victory over Sale Sharks three days ago, is also training.

Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said: "They are training with us, so hopefully they will be fit enough for selection.

"Leigh was released, but didn't play, last week. We just felt that he needed a little bit more contact, so that is what he is going to have.

"We will measure both of them as the week goes on.

"With Leigh, it is an individual case, and those discussions would take place with the medical team, the coaches and Leigh himself.

"There is no way that we would put somebody in a position that he is not comfortable with. Those discussions will take place during the week."