Owen Farrell - ‘I’m massively proud to be from Wigan, I made a point of keeping my accent’

England captain Owen Farrell has spoken of his pride at being from Wigan – and revealed he has “made a point” of keeping his accent.
Owen FarrellOwen Farrell
Owen Farrell

Anyone who listened to his TV interview after the Red Rose were stunned 11-6 by Scotland in Saturday’s Six Nations opener may have noticed he has not changed the way he speaks.

“I think I’ve made a point of keeping my accent since I’ve been down here,” he told the new issue of Men’s Health magazine.

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“My sisters are a bit younger than me; they still have their accents but they’re able to jump in and out of it a bit more than me.

Farrell on England dutyFarrell on England duty
Farrell on England duty

“I’m massively proud to be from Wigan but I don’t really know why I’ve kept my accent. Maybe I tried to adjust and didn’t like what I heard!” A former St Pat’s junior, Farrell has spoken candidly in the past about not wanting to leave Wigan when his dad, Andy, left the Warriors to join Saracens in 2005.

“It was just completely different. School was the biggest difference straight away,” said Farrell. “I loved it in the end, but at first I didn’t know what had hit me. All I’d ever known was Wigan and Wigan is a really tight-knit community. To go outside of that was a big deal.”

Like his dad, he has a reputation for being fiercely competitive – raising the question when was the last time he beat him at something.

“I don’t know what I have beaten him at,” said Farrell.

Farrell on the cover of the latest issue of Men's Health magazineFarrell on the cover of the latest issue of Men's Health magazine
Farrell on the cover of the latest issue of Men's Health magazine
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“I’ve probably only been able to beat him at anything since he stopped playing. He’s certainly bigger than me – miles bigger than me. He’s definitely stronger.”

As captain, Farrell is inevitably in the spotlight more than many of his team-mates. And while he doesn’t crave the attention he seems comfortable dealing with the media.

“I don’t dislike it. I enjoy the rugby side of things, I enjoy the team stuff, and this [talking to the media] is obviously something that comes with it,” he said. “It’s just not something I go looking for, I guess, but I’m passionate about rugby and I’m passionate about what I do. That’s hopefully what you see when I’m on the pitch.

“I suppose that can come over to different people in different ways. Everyone can have their own opinions about it and that’s OK.”

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Italy’s arrival at Twickenham on Saturday offers the opportunity for England to relaunch their Six Nations after a disappointing opener against the Scots, while Andy Farrell’s Ireland host France– where another ex-Wigan captain, Shaun Edwards, is a coach – on Sunday.

Read the full Owen Farrell interview in the March issue of Men’s Health UK, on sale from today, February 10.

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