Heineken Cup 2013: Farrell relishing his tussle with Wilkinson

Heineken Cup 2013: Saracens star Owen Farrell is relishing his tussle with England legend Jonny Wilkinson this weekend

owen farrell
Owen Farrell was England's first-choice fly-half in the Six Nations Photo: The Sport Review

Owen Farrell say he is relishing the prospect of facing England legend Jonny Wilkinson when Saracens take on Toulon in the Heineken Cup semi-final at Twickenham this weekend.

Farrell, 21, was watching on television as an 11-year-old when Wilkinson kicked the World Cup-winning drop-goal against Australia in 2003.

But as the pair prepare to go head-to-head in the Heineken Cup semi-final, Farrell was eager to offer his praise towards his older rival.

Both may yet tour with the British and Irish Lions in Australia this summer, but Farrell was keen to shower former England international Wilkinson with praise for his illustrious and elongated career.

“Not only does he control the game but he smashes people in defence as well,” Farrell said of Wilkinson

“Jonny set the standard and pushed the bar right up as far as fly-halves are concerned.

“He’s an unbelievable player – everyone wants to follow in his footsteps.

“[Former Australia international] Matt Giteau’s at Toulon and he’s a special player and just outside him is [France outside centre] Mathieu Bastareaud, so you can’t afford to focus on one player,” Farrell added.

“Their squad is unbelievable, full of established internationals.

“This tournament is the best of the best, so to be involved in a semi-final against a team like Toulon is a massive privilege.

“I’ve never been involved in a Heineken Cup semi-final before, so that makes this a bit special.”

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