Vickery: Farrell can be England’s 12

Former British & Irish Lions prop Phil Vickery has backed Owen Farrell to convert himself into England's inside centre. [more]

Vickery: Farrell can be England’s 12

Former British & Irish Lions prop Phil Vickery has backed Owen Farrell to convert himself into England’s inside centre.

Farrell toured Australia with the Lions last summer as Warren Gatland’s second-choice fly-half, coming off the bench in the final Test in Sydney.

A number of suitors have since put the 22-year-old’s England No.10 shirt under threat and Vickery thinks a Leicester Tigers-bound Freddie Burns is the chief concern.

But Vickery, who toured with the Lions in both 2001 and 2009, believes Farrell could simply shift outside and displace Billy Twelvetrees at No.12.

“At ten I think Burns, if the Leicester thing happens for him, could be first choice,” he told the Gloucester Citizen. “But then we talk about where Farrell can play and I think that inside centre spot could be his.

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“It is natural for him. If we compare Billy to Farrell they are very similar physically and Farrell is as strong if not stronger.

“Having him at inside centre will open that England game up a little bit more, with two kickers, two thinkers. And then you have the wrecking machine in the centre and on the wings.”

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