Mon, Oct 02, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Saracens' Farrell disappointed with rugby union debut

AFP , LONDON

Andy Farrell's full debut in rugby union offered little encouragement for those hoping the former league star can fire England's bid to retain the World Cup next year.

Farrell was a marginal figure at blindside flanker as his union club Saracens went down to a 36-24 defeat at the hands of London Irish in an Anglo-Welsh Cup group match on Saturday.

But Farrell will have been relieved to finally get a senior start in the 15-man game under his belt, 19 injury-ravaged months after he switched codes.

Having come through the match unscathed, the former Great Britain captain will now join the England squad for a training camp next week.

"I am disappointed to be involved in a performance like that. I feel gutted but I've got to take responsibility," Farrell admitted.

"We never kept hold of the ball, we never got past two phases. It was frustrating more than anything. I found it hard to get into the game. Everybody finds it hard to get into the game when it is so disjointed," he said.

"When you play [No. 6] you have to do your job before you can get into the game and unfortunately we didn't get past two phases today. It is frustrating not to be able to play how you want to play. I am gutted by the performance," he said.

Holders Wasps crashed to a 36-20 defeat at Cardiff.

New Zealander Ben Blair was the architect of the Blues' victory, kicking 18 points and proving a constant menace to Wasps' defense through his pacy counter-attacking.

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