IN THE LOCKER ROOM WITH… OWEN FARRELL
We sat down with the England star ahead of a very important few months…
Owen Farrell knows about winning. Since he burst onto to the scene with England he has been the nation’s and Saracen’s go-to man. At just 27 the fly-half has already won two Six Nations, four Premierships and three European titles. Individually he has been named European player of the year and nominated for World player of the year three times. He’s bloody good, basically. But there’s no arrogance in Farrell. His success has been won through hard work and determination in the gym and on the rugby field. Here we give you an insight into the life of a champion.
How important is the stuff you do in the gym to your performance on the field?
It’s vitally important; it’s all about doing the right things during the week so that when match day comes around, you’re in the best shape possible to be able to put in a good performance.
Who is the strongest player in the Saracens team?
It’s really hard to say as it all depends on what exercise but definitely the forwards. If I had to say; I’d go with Jackson Wray for push exercises and Maro Itoje for pull.
Is there a training session that you dread? What’s your favourite thing to do in the gym and why?
No, there isn’t really anything that I dread in the gym. I do like to keep it varied though and particularly enjoy circuit training where you go quickly between different exercises.
How does training in the gym help you mentally?
It makes you feel good which I think is really important. I love training and the feeling you can get from it. It’s very individual in terms of what is right for you but you definitely feel better about yourself after a good workout.
What does a week at the training ground look like for you?
It all depends on what day the game is and at what point during the season we are. Assuming we’re playing on a Saturday then Sunday would be rest day.
Monday would then be a light session and very much dependant on the game at the weekend and how we’ve recovered. We’d normally focus on more organisational work and probably train legs in the gym.
Tuesday would be a much heavier day in the gym and high intensity on the field.
Wednesday would be a day of recovery. Depending on the week, we may do a little bit of skill work and I’ll practice a bit of kicking.
Thursday would be another higher intensity session; we focus more on speed in the gym and short, sharp work on the field.
Friday would then be another rest day ahead of the game on the Saturday. This is the day I get a chance to kick in the stadium which is great preparation for the next day.
Saturday as I’ve mentioned is normally game day. I try to have two meals before a match but it all depends on the kick off time.
In terms of what I’m eating, I have breakfast and lunch at the club every day, so it’s always related to the training that we are doing. It’ll be more carb heavy on the higher intensity training days. Personally, I’m not too precious about it but I’ll always have carbs the night before a game; normally rice or gluten free pasta. I opt for gluten free pasta just to ensure I don’t feel too heavy the next day.
Do you have any pre-game rituals you use to mentally prepare yourself for a big match?
Not really anymore. I think when I first started I used to be a bit more conscious of my routine and I made sure I did the same things on match day. As I’ve got more experienced though, it’s not something that has really stuck with me so no superstitions really.
What does it take to become a Gallagher Premiership Champion?
I suppose it takes both consistency throughout the year and also to make sure you are at your best when it comes to the play-offs and final!
What’s your top recovery tip for after a tough game?
Relaxing is the key. If you’re able to relax after a match, you are able to focus on what your body needs in order to recover. It’s much better to be able to feel what you need than just to do what you think is right or do what you are told.
How do you like to relax in your downtime between sessions?
In between sessions, we’ll just be at the training ground so we’ll grab a coffee and have a chat normally. It depends on the day but it might be that we have some tactical/organisational meetings to break up the training.
When you don’t have to eat healthily, what’s your go-to meal to pig out?
I wouldn’t say I have a go to meal like that. I really enjoy my food but I think my favourite would be meat slow cooked on a BBQ.
And finally… what’s the next goal in your rugby career?
I try not to look too far ahead. Right now it’s about preparing right in pre-season so that we’re ready to go when the big matches start in Autumn.