Farrell's England held by French
PUBLISHED: 12:16 28 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 26 October 2009
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TEENAGE Herts rugby star Owen Farrell completed a landmark two seasons as an England Under-16 international by captaining them against France. Centre Farrell completed his two-year tenure with the U16s on Wednesday when England finished their Four Nations
TEENAGE Herts rugby star Owen Farrell completed a landmark two seasons as an England Under-16 international by captaining them against France.
Centre Farrell completed his two-year tenure with the U16s on Wednesday when England finished their Four Nations campaign with a creditable 24-24 draw with France U17s.
Harpenden schoolboy Farrell started all three England U16 matches in the inaugural Four Nations Tournament last season - which England won on home soil in the Midlands - and has repeated that feat as captain in this year's competition based around Lyon in France.
The 16-year-old son of Andy Farrell, the Saracens and England centre and former Great Britain Rugby League legend, follows the likes of England second row Garath Archer at the turn of the 1990s and 2008 Welsh Grand Slam hooker Huw Bennett, who switched allegiance after playing U16s for England, in playing two seasons for the senior U16 side.
More recently, fly-half Danny Cipriani had two seasons of England representation at U16 level, but the first one was with the A team.
After being edged out 13-12 by Wales U16 in their opening match, England defeated Italy U17 12-3 on Easter Sunday and drew with France's U17 side.
England let slip a 17-point lead in an otherwise creditable result with the hosts in Lyon.
The French were fielding an U17 side on average nine months older than their England opponents, who were unable to register a single point in the second half for the third match running.
Left wing Sam Edgerley raced to two tries in the opening eight minutes and was followed over the line by hooker Michael Haywood and right wing Alex Lewington as England built up a commanding 24-7 interval lead.
But England suffered a heavy penalty count against them and with some questionable decisions at the scrummage and contact area, France pegged them back to level with a converted try in the last minute.
"The boys tried like hell, they really did, against a big, physical French side," said George Squires, England U16 team manager.
"We were pegged back in the second half but the boys never let their heads drop."
The Four Nations Tournament was won by Wales.