England captain Owen Farrell could be set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in Saracens’ victory over Harlequins on Saturday.
Farrell, in his first game back for Sarries after the Six Nations, impressed as his side secured a home semi-final in the Premiership following a 36-24 triumph at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
They scored five tries in total, four of which the fly-half converted, while he also kicked a penalty, but there was concern when the playmaker limped off late on.
Was a doubt for Ireland game
The Red Rose skipper has damaged the same joint which made him a doubt for their final Six Nations encounter against Ireland.
Although Farrell managed to pass a fitness test to play in that fixture, Mark McCall is unsure as to the severity of the injury this time around.
“I’ve seen him in the changing room and he’s OK. We just need to see what the problem is and to what degree he’s aggravated it,” Saracens director of rugby McCall said.
“It was a grade one strain before which is normally a seven-day turnaround, which he managed to do in the England week and play that game (Ireland).
“Whether or not it’s still a grade one, well see. If it’s more than that he won’t play. We certainly won’t play him if he’s not right.
“We want to make a good decision on it. It will be great to have him but if we don’t have him then we’ll get on with it.
“Until Owen went off he was great. All the good stuff in attack, he was at the centre of that. There were some great defensive interventions too.”
Farrell won the battle of the England fly-halves against Harlequins’ Marcus Smith.
Smith was not poor, often being Quins’ main creative outlet, but he did not have the same control on the encounter as his opposite number.
“I don’t think he will drop his head. One of the reasons he’s playing at that level is because he’s an assist magnet,” Harlequins boss Tabai Matson said.
“He often is setting up a try for someone else or creating a line break for someone else. That’s why he’s one of the best.
“He created a lot of opportunities for others and got us around the field. It was a good performance from him. He rolled straight in after the Six Nations and has been delivering from day one.”
In-form Billy Vunipola
Despite an impressive display from Farrell, it was Saracens’ number eight Billy Vunipola who claimed the player of the match award.
Vunipola was overlooked by new England head coach Steve Borthwick for the Six Nations, but McCall has been pleased with his response.
“Billy is just so determined. He’s in great physical condition and this is as good as I’ve seen him. You can see that on the field, he had a superb match,” Sarries’ boss added.
“Billy’s got to do his talking on the field. That’s all he can do – play well. And he has been playing well.
“The way he dealt with the disappointment of not being in the Six Nations squad was unbelievable. He threw himself into helping our younger players.
“Sometimes that can be a frustrating experience for an international player but he’s responded really well.”
READ MORE: Premiership: Five takeaways from Saracens v Harlequins as Owen Farrell wins duel with Marcus Smith
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