Owen Farrell cleared to play Australia next week when NHS confirmed England captain was false positive and has NO COVID
- Owen Farrell missed England’s win against Tonga due to a positive COVID-19 test
- The NHS test and trace allowed Farrell to come out of quarantine Sunday morning.
- The Saracens star has been cleared to face Australia at Twickenham on Saturday
- George Furbank started as fly-half in England’s 69-3 win over Tonga
England captain Owen Farrell was cleared to face Australia on Saturday after his Covid case was confirmed as a false positive.
Farrell missed Tonga’s 69-3 win in the Fall Nations Series opener at Twickenham after being forced to isolate himself due to the result of a PCR test taken on Thursday.
But now he will rejoin the team after a review of the sample revealed that he does not have the virus with the NHS test and trace on Sunday morning giving the green light to exit the quarantine.
Owen Farrell Missed Tonga Test After Testing Positive for COVID-19
Frustratingly for England, the lab that reviewed the test determined on Saturday morning before Tonga’s game that it was a false positive, but Farrell has just been told he can return to the team’s main training base in Surrey.
The Saracens and Lions star was supposed to start in the high middle and it was only announced 90 minutes before kickoff that he would not be in action against the Islanders.
“Subsequent PCRs on Owen Farrell have also been negative and therefore he has been released from self-isolation,” added a statement from the Rugby Football Union.
It concludes a confusing 48 hours in which England winger Jonny May admitted that it left players wondering if the match would continue and what role Farrell could play in it.
Northampton Saints winger George Furbank replaced Farrell on Saturday
‘It was stressful. It’s hard enough preparing for a test match without all that, ” May said.
“ I was worried about going down for breakfast and the game not going on if we had a few more positives. Acting in those conditions and distractions is a merit for the team. ‘
Once it was discovered Thursday night that Farrell was the only member of Eddie Jones’ team and staff to produce a positive result, the sample was requested to be retested.
The following night, England was informed of the false positive, but were then forced to wait for track and trace clearance from the NHS and the UK Health Security Agency before the 30-year-old could emerge from self-isolation. .
Marcus Smith (far left) came off the bench and scored a try as England beat Tonga 69-3.
Eddie Jones is expected to bring Farrell back in the opening XV against Australia next week.
His availability now leaves Jones facing the conundrum of who to pick in his midfield.
George Furbank proved to be a successful alternative as a starting midfield, but Marcus Smith came off the bench and stole the show by inspiring a late rush of points despite entering the game with a leg injury.
Jones is likely to return to his planned 10-12 alliance of Smith and Farrell, but doing so would break the highly effective center combination of Manu Tuilagi and man of the match Henry Slade.
England names their team for the clash against rejuvenated Australia on Thursday morning.