Owen Farrell: Saracens fly-half still 'happy' with decision to step away from England duty

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell remains "happy" with his decision to step away from England and is focused on enjoying his rugby again.

The former England captain made himself unavailable for this year's Six Nations "in order to prioritise his and his family's mental wellbeing".

Next season Farrell will join Racing 92 which rules out a possible return.

"The World Cup was difficult at times, but I really enjoyed the playing side of it," he said.

The 32-year-old Farrell added: "I have just tried to get back to enjoying my rugby and loving what I am doing and I am working to do that.

"I guess you sit and watch any massive game and wish you were involved, but I'm happy with the decision at the moment, not to say that won't be up and down."

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) does not allow players based abroad to be selected for England, with Farrell moving to the French Top 14 side on a two-year deal.

Capped 112 times by his country, Farrell's move to France all but prevents him playing for England again unless the eligibility rules are relaxed, something which head coach Steve Borthwick wants to happen.

Following criticism of his captain during England's third-place finish at last autumn's World Cup, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said certain members of the media "need to look at themselves" for their "unfair scrutiny".

"It's lots of things it's never one thing why you come to a decision, it's never just a specific one," said Farrell.

"I thought it would be the best thing for me and obviously there's a change happening off the back of it as well."

The fly-half, who captained his country to the World Cup final in 2019, admitted he deleted social media for the recent tournament in France, but does not put his recent decisions down to just that.

"I don't really look too much into it and it's hard to get away from it," he added. "You feel it at times, but it would be wrong for me to entertain it too much.

"I don't expect people to know what I'm like or how I am as a person, so when it does get personal it would be silly to listen to that on my part."

'I want to play for as long as I can'

The three-time British and Irish Lion remains available for the next tour to Australia in 2025 when his father Andy will be head coach of the Lions.

Decisions will be made "closer to the time" whether Farrell will link up with his father, but in the meantime he remains focused on maximising his club career.

"I want to play for as long as I am enjoying it," the fly-half added.

"I love playing and that has always been the case, even during the tougher bits I loved the game and the rugby.

"I want to enjoy all of it a bit more and I have been getting back to doing that here at the club and over the time during the Six Nations and I want to really do that towards the end of the year."