Owen Farrell is aiming to be as calm as Dan Carter as Saracens gear up for Champions Cup final
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Saracens’ Owen Farrell says he is aiming to become as calm and controlled as New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter as he prepares to face the two-time World Cup-winner in Saturday’s European final.
Sarries take on French outfit Racing 92 in the Champions Cup showdown in Lyon, and 24-year-old Farrell admits he admires many of the qualities of his opposite number, who has over 100 international caps and lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time last autumn.
“He’s been there and done it so many times,” said Farrell. “People talked about whether he could do it or not going into the World Cup. That’s not for me to take notice of, but a player of his class was always going to play like he did.
“It’s just how calm he is, how much he is in control of what he does that stands out. Trying to be calmer on the pitch, it’s definitely something I’m always trying to do.
“The more you’re calm, the more you’re in control and the more you’re thinking about the right things. That’s definitely something I’ve taken into account.”
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Saracens’ last European final was also against French opposition, when they lost 23-6 to Toulon in 2014, and Farrell admits that, in hindsight, he was not as cool and collected as he initially thought.
“You think you are calm, you think you are composed, you think you are taking it all in your stride and when you look back at it you are probably not as much as you hope you had been,” said the England international.
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“That is probably natural, it being the first occasion you have been there, but the experience you have got to learn is that it is a game of rugby – it is two good teams playing in a cup final but it is just 80 minutes of rugby.
“We have got to play the game, we have not got to play anything that is around the game and the occasion – we have got to play a game of rugby.
“You have to learn from big games and big experiences, especially ones where it doesn’t go your way. You have to take everything you possibly can.
“I know we are a different team since then and we know we have got better. We are just excited about hopefully putting in a big performance at the weekend.”