Lancaster plays down Farrell injury concerns

FLY-HALF Owen Farrell is expected to be fit for England’s penultimate RBS Six Nations fixture against Italy despite limping off at the weekend, says coach Stuart Lancaster.

Farrell exited 62 minutes into Saturday’s hard-fought 22-13 victory over France at Twickenham with a strained right thigh muscle, raising fears the 21-year-old could miss his team’s final two tournament matches as they look to close in on a first grand slam since 2003.

But Lancaster allayed fears that the Saracens No10, who has underlined his value by kicking 42 points in the Six Nations already this year, could miss the visit of Italy on 10 March and the trip to Wales six days later.

“Owen has strained his quadriceps, but it does not appear serious,” Lancaster said. “He should be fine to play next time.”