Rugby expert David Kuzio believes the future of English rugby union lies solely at the feet of youngster Owen Farrell.
Owen Farrell may only be 21-years-old but if he is managed well, he could the man to fire England to World Cup success in 2015.
Farrell has an old head on very young shoulders and thanks to the mentoring from his father Andrew, who is a former dual code international, he certainly has the maturity and confidence to be England’s 'go-to' man just like Jonny Wilkinson in Australia in 2003.
England’s 2011 World Cup adventure in New Zealand was a total disaster and the sport of rugby cannot afford another failure like that.
Well in 2015, if Farrell still has the desire and determination he is showing now he could without a shadow of a doubt be the man to carry the Red Rose to glory.
Everyone remembers the euphoria generated when Jonny Wilkinson slotted over that dramatic drop goal in Sydney on Saturday, November 22 to bring home the trophy 20-17.
The Six Nations is a great tournament to compete in as Lancaster and his coaching staff can look at different players and certain combination, but one eye is always on the World Cup.
The World Cup is the pinnacle of any players career, no matter what the sport, and considering this country’s football team look no closer to winning the trophy for the first time since 1966 then it is down to Lancaster and his merry men to lift the gloom and bring home a second World Cup success in 12 years.
England’s World Cup win in 2003 was all down to the preparation laid down by then head coach Sir Clive Woodward and if we are to emulate that great team then Lancaster has to seriously start his planning now.
The friendship and togetherness in that 2003 squad may never be replicated but you can give it a good go and selecting the youngsters now that will be at their peak in 2015 is the best place to start.
Lancaster is a good coach and a clever man and he already sees that young Farrell is a talented player, but he needs to stop tinkering with his position and give him a run in the team in one spot.
Yes Farrell can play both centre or fly-half but he is at his most dangerous with number 10 on his back and he should be selected in that position from now until the World Cup if England are to have any chance or erasing that painful memory of the 2011 World Cup.
Lancaster has, in the past, highlighted how important Farrell is to the England squad, but there is a difference to being an important cog to being the actual cog that makes everything tick and the former St John Fisher High School student is that player.
The England coach will never select players on reputation and will always reward hard work and after naming Farrell at fly-half in the victory over World Champions New Zealand last November he admitted that was done on his recent form and if he continues to show that kind of potential then he will never have a reason to drop him.
Lancaster said: “"Owen had an outstanding season in the Six Nations. He contributed massively.
"I don't think his form dropped off as many suggested at the end of last season. He had had a long, hard season. He had a slow start to his season with a shoulder injury but in the last four weeks he has been outstanding in training."
That is the kind of player the England squad needs - hard working and willing to improve on his mistakes.
Having been an admirer of his father Andy for years, it is safe to say that the Farrell family do not lack confidence and they are born winners. Some may say that Farrell is too young and not experienced enough - but in my experience in the world of rugby “If you are good enough then you are old enough”.
And in my opinion Farrell is certainly ahead of his years. Just read these quotes from the youngster after learning he was nominated as one of the four nominations for the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year and selected to go up against fellow nominee Dan Carter.
He said: “Scared?”
“Why would I be scared of something in the game I love? It was humbling to be nominated, a surprise too and I’ve had a bit of stick. But I’m in a good place at the moment. This is something that I’ve been preparing to do.”
This is a kid of 21 and relishing the chance to go up against a great of the game and less than eight years in the 15 aside code. People forget that Farrell played rugby league religiously up until he followed his father to union in 2005 and had never played the other code.
He now looks a natural and again I use the statement, if he is managed correctly, then he will guide and kick England to another World Cup glory, and that is what it’s all about,
About the Author
David Kuzio is an expert Rugby Union live journalist at Livestreamingsport.com,an award winning sports site which provides live streaming fans with match previews, team news, updates and streaming schedules for a vast array of sports including rugby league, rugby union, snooker, darts, football and more.