England captain Owen Farrell has declared “nothing is set in stone” when it comes to his Saracens future.
After last week’s dramatic announcement from Premiership Rugby that Saracens will be demoted to the Championship next season, the focus has switched to what that will mean for the club’s elite players.
Years of breaching the Premiership salary cap has come back to bite Saracens, the current champions of England and Europe.
Farrell was one of seven Saracens players named in a 34-man England squad on Monday and there will be clear-the-air discussions during the team’s training camp.
Rival clubs have been angered by Saracens’ over-spending and England will move quickly to defuse any tensions that may exist within coach Eddie Jones’ group.
Asked whether he would stay with Saracens beyond this season, Farrell said: “There’s obviously ongoing chats. We have an idea of what our plan would be for the lads that are coming into camp.
“We’ve had a sit-down, but obviously nothing is set in stone so [I am] not in a position to talk about it, but we feel clear enough at this moment in time to get on with what’s in front of us and get excited about getting to England.”
Farrell was asked for his view on the punishment meted out to his club side, and told ITV Sport: “It’s disappointing obviously, but as a club we’ve accepted the punishment and I back the club to come back from this.”
England’s squad were set to gather on Wednesday and Farrell, as the team’s leader, will likely have a key role in making sure there are no disruptive divisions between the players given the need for unity.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) January 22, 2020
Asked whether there might be issues between the Saracens contingent and players from other clubs, Farrell said: “I don’t know. The best thing about this squad over the past year or so [is] we’ve got better at being up-front with each other.
“We’ve got better at being open and better at being honest, and if that’s the case we’ll get it out there and we’ll sort it out and be able to move on.
“It’d be wrong of us not to say anything so we’ll see what comes of it when we do mention it.”
Farrell left no doubt he is relishing the chance to focus on England matters over the coming weeks.
After the run to the Rugby World Cup final, England will bid to dethrone Wales as Six Nations champions.
“It’s massively exciting,” Farrell said.
“The group that we’ve got is obviously a lot of people that’ve been together for a while now, but with some people that are hopefully going to add a lot to it.
“We want to push, we want to get better, we want to improve, and we want to see where we can take it.
“We’ve got to work hard and that’ll be what we do now when we meet up.”
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