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Rejuvenated Owen Farrell hungry to halt Saracens slump against Clermont

England fly-half says he feel stronger and quicker after spell on the sidelines and Champions Cup tie against Clermont is club’s chance to turn their season around

Saracens may be reeling from the untimely loss of Maro Itoje to a broken jaw but in Owen Farrell they have another England international positively champing at the bit. Both were managed through England’s autumn to the extent that each started only one match but whereas Itoje is now laid up until the new year, Farrell is in his element amid talk of a crisis at Saracens, who have lost five matches in a row.

As Eddie Jones revealed, Farrell hated being left out – “itching to play rugby” is how the fly-half puts it – but he can see the benefits of a brief lay-off and while his return did not go to plan in last week’s defeat by Harlequins, Saracens’ loss of form has only sharpened his senses as the European champions prepare to take on Clermont on Sunday in a re-run of last season’s final.

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