England not concerned by captain Owen Farrell’s loss of form at Rugby World Cup

England went from defence to attack to back captain Owen Farrell and fire a warning to France.

A Tokyo-bound ‘super typhoon’ has cast a doubt over whether Saturday’s Pool C decider will even go ahead.

There is also increased injury concern for star forward Billy Vunipola, after a picture emerged of him wearing a protective boot hours before England denied that he needed one.

But the World Cup second favourites insist they are being “over cautious” with their No.8 and that there is no cause for alarm over Farrell’s loss of form.

The skipper’s performance was below par against Argentina in a match in which, for the second successive week, he took a ‘red card’ shot to the head.


Attack coach Scott Wisemantel: “I don’t think the bump had any effect on him. I asked after the game, he said he felt pretty good, just a bit clunky with a few of the plays.

“He is a tough, competitive player, who, if anything because he competes so hard, probably tries to over rectify the situation.

“And it wasn’t just Owen, in and around him there were a few things that were clunky, that I need to fix this week.”


Pressed on what he meant by clunky, Wisemantel said: “Look I am a perfectionist. You are never going to get a perfect game of rugby. We scored six tries and five to the backs so we are not too clunky.

“I probably over-exaggerated, and for a reason, because there is a story there with Owen and you are going down that route and I am trying to deflect, all right.

“Because it is not just Owen, there are other things that I see around him that aren’t perfect that we need to get right.”

It remains strange to many that Farrell has taken two hits to the head, which have resulted in two players being sent off, and he has yet to undergo a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).


Wisemantel explained that the player, the referee and the medics all independently judged that he was fine to continue.

He then insisted the team would be more than ready for France.

“I’m seeing that real killer, in the way they are going about their business,” he said. “There’s a real steeliness to the way they’re approaching their work.”

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