Farrell eyes double after European win


Farrell kicked seven penalties from seven attempts

Saracens must use their European Champions Cup triumph to push on and complete a domestic and European double, said fly-half Owen Farrell.

Saracens, runners-up in 2014, beat Racing 92 21-9 in the final in Lyon.

Premiership champions Sarries play Leicester in the play-off semi-final on Saturday aiming to become the first English side since Wasps in 2004 to win both titles in the same season.

“We have half done it, but we still have two games to go,” said Farrell.

“As good as this feeling is, all that matters is that we keep get better.”

Saracens second row Maro Itoje was named European player of the year, the fourth Englishman in succession to win the award after Clermont’s Nick Abendanon and Toulon pair Steffon Armitage and Jonny Wilkinson.

Farrell, who kicked seven penalties and scored all Saracens’ points, outshone opposite number Dan Carter, the New Zealand legend who was forced off just after half-time after aggravating a thigh injury.


Jonny Wilkinson, part of the Toulon team that beat Saracens in the 2014 final, praised Saracens development

Carter, who retired as Test rugby’s leading points scorer after winning the World Cup in September, did not carry out kicking duties and was unable to produce his best with ball in hand.

Racing coach Laurent Labit said: “He is a highly experienced player and, even though he was not 100%, we thought he’d be able to manage for 40 or 50 minutes.

“We made a choice, but collectively we weren’t up to the challenge.”

Saracens’ first European title follows their defeat by Toulon in the 2014 final and semi-final losses in 2013 and 2015.

Farrell, 24, said: “To put the work in that we have and grow as we have throughout the years has been brilliant.

“Hopefully, there are more of these days to come.”


Carter was replaced on 42 minutes

Saracens coach Mark McCall claimed the presence of the likes of 21-year-old Itoje, 23-year-old number eight Billy Vunipola and 25-year-old hooker Jamie George mean the future is promising for the London club.

“It feels good right now because we have been pounding a rock in this competition for four or five years,” he said.

“We have won some great victories and lost in some painful ways. Hopefully there is more to come from the team.”

Former New Zealand hooker Sean Fitzpatrick said Saracens had “set the standard of what is required to win in Europe”, while ex-Australia and Saracens fly-half Michael Lynagh congratulated Farrell on his kicking under pressure.

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