Six Nations 2018: Owen Farrell needs to stay aggressive in France – Eddie Jones

Farrell needs to remain 'aggressive' as captain - Jones
Six Nations: France v England
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 10 March Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One and BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Owen Farrell has the chance to prove his long-term captaincy credentials when he leads England for the first time against France on Saturday, says head coach Eddie Jones.

The Saracens playmaker will deputise for injured hooker Dylan Hartley in the Six Nations match in Paris (16:45 GMT).

England are five points behind leaders Ireland, after a comprehensive defeat by Scotland in their last outing.

Jones says he wants Farrell to be his usual "aggressive and passionate" self.

"It's an opportunity for him to show he is capable of being a captain in the future," the Australian told BBC Sport.

"His first job is to be the best player on the field - and for him to be the best player on the field he needs to be aggressive and he needs to be in their face."

Jones feels Farrell's leadership potential has grown rapidly over the past year, with the player regularly stepping in for Hartley at the end of games.

"The last 12 months he has accelerated in that area and taken a real interest in it," the head coach added.

"We know he is a straight-shooter. He's up front and an intense player, but he has added a tactical understanding to his game, and his work off the field with the players has been very impressive."

Farrell (right) has won 56 caps for England since making his Test debut in 2012

Farrell himself has reflected on the "massive honour" of leading the side, but insists his first job is to lead by example.

"I think that's what a lot of leadership is about," Farrell told BBC Sport.

"You can't be asking people to do things you're not willing to do yourself. You have to get your own stuff right and then hopefully [others] will follow you then."

The 26-year-old says his famed robust streak has been channelled in the wrong way in the past, but feels he has now matured to be "calm and clear-headed".

"It's something that I figured out a while ago now," he added.

"That's somewhere I have probably matured a bit over the years - but at the same time you try and be aggressive at the right times.

"I don't think anybody goes onto the pitch and wants to go backwards."

Source: BBC Rugby Union News

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By adamreeves / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on Mar 08, 2018