British & Irish Lions fly-half Owen Farrell has piled the pressure on his chief international rival ahead of the World Cup, according to former England No.10 Paul Grayson.
Farrell endured an injury-interrupted campaign with club side Saracens, not featuring for the Red Rose since November of last year.
However, he returned to fitness in time for the Premiership title, facing off with fellow England stand-off George Ford at Twickenham and leading Saracens to the title.
And Grayson believes that display has given Farrell, who came off the bench during the Lions’ series-clinching victory over Australia in 2013, a boost in his hunt for a starting role.
“Owen Farrell has had a terrible year through injuries so he has not really played any rugby,” Grayson told Killik Rugby.
“Having said that, he came back with superstar effect in the Premiership final and really overshadowed George Ford.
“At the moment George Ford is in the hot seat with Owen Farrell breathing down his neck, with different qualities.”
And Grayson expects one of Farrell’s fellow Lions to form a formidable half-back partnership with Ford when the World Cup kicks off later this year.
“I would think England will go for Ben Youngs and George Ford,” he added.
“That gives you physicality and a really good blend in all aspects of the game from Youngs and will-o-the-wisp at fly-half, Ford a real string-puller and creative force when on the front foot.”
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