Andy Farrell

For the former English football midfielder, see Andy Farrell (footballer).
"Andrew Farrell" redirects here. For the American soccer player, see Andrew Farrell (soccer).
Andy Farrell
Full name Andrew David Farrell OBE
Date of birth (1975-05-30) 30 May 1975
Place of birth Wigan, Greater Manchester England
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[1][2]
Weight 17 st 1 lb (108 kg)[3][4]
Notable relative(s) Owen Farrell (son)
Sean O'Loughlin (brother-in-law)
Liam Farrell (nephew)
Rugby league career
Position Loose forward, Second-row, Stand-off, Prop
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Orrell St. James
correct as of 1 November 2006.
Professional clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1991–2004 Wigan 370 (3135)
correct as of 1 November 2006.
National teams
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Great Britain
correct as of 13 Sep 2006.
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Inside centre, outside centre, fly-half, flanker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2005–2009 Saracens 28 (12)
correct as of 2 September 2009.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2007 England 8 (5)
correct as of 28 Sep. 2007.
Coaching career
Years Club / team
Saracens (Asst. Coach)
England (Defence Coach)
Ireland (Defence Coach)
Munster (Advisor)

Andrew David "Andy" Farrell OBE (born 30 May 1975) is an English former professional dual-code international rugby footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. A goal-kicking loose forward in rugby league, he captained the Great Britain team and his club, Wigan Warriors. Farrell made 34 appearances for Great Britain and also represented England in two World Cups. He won six Championships and four Challenge Cups with Wigan, as well as a range of individual awards between 1991 and 2004. Transferring to rugby union, he played for Saracens F.C. from 2005 to 2009 and was selected to represent England on 8 occasions.

Playing career

Rugby league


Farrell was born in Wigan, Greater Manchester and first played rugby league at age 10 at a summer camp run by Graeme West, Wigan Warriors' captain at the time.[5] Farrell is of Irish descent.[6] After developing with local club Orrell St James, he made his first-team debut for his hometown club Wigan at the age of 16[7] in a 1991 Regal Trophy match against Keighley. Also that year his son Owen Farrell, who would also go on to become a professional rugby player, was born.

Farrell went on to become the youngest player to win a Challenge Cup final in 1993 when at 17 years and 11 months he came on as a substitute against Widnes.[8] He then became a full international by the age of 18, making his debut against New Zealand later in 1993.

Farrell played Right-Second-row, i.e. number 12, in Wigan's 2-33 defeat by Castleford in the 1993–94 Regal Trophy final at Headingley, Leeds on 22 January 1994.

After the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season, during which he scored a try in Wigan's Challenge Cup final victory, Farrell travelled with his club to Brisbane and played at second-row forward in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. He rates this as one of his greatest achievements in rugby league.[9] Farrell was selected to play for Great Britain against Australia in all three Ashes Tests of the 1994 Kangaroo tour. The following year he played from the bench for Wigan in the 1995 Challenge Cup final victory over Leeds Rhinos. At the end of the season he played at loose forward for England in the 1995 World Cup final, but Australia won the match and retained the Cup. Also that year, Farrell married the elder sister of future Great Britain international and Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin.[10]

In July 1996 Farrell was appointed Wigan's captain and later that year, aged 21 years and four months, became the youngest-ever skipper of the Great Britain team, leading the 1996 Lions tour of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. In October that year he won the prestigious Man of Steel Award. He was also named at loose forward in 1996's Super League Dream Team. On 28 September 1997 in the 1997 Super League Premiership Final, Farrell played at loose forward in Wigan's 33–20 win over St. Helens at Old Trafford before a crowd of 33,389. He was awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man-of-the-match.[11] In the 1997 post-season, Farrell was selected to captain Great Britain at stand-off half back in all three matches of the Super League Test series against Australia. He captained Wigan at loose forward in their 1998 Super League Grand Final victory over Leeds.


Farrell played for Wigan at loose forward, scoring a try and kicking two goals, in their 2000 Super League Grand Final loss against St Helens. In the post-season he was selected to captain England in their 2000 World Cup campaign. In 2001 Farrell set the Wigan club record for most points in a season with 429 and most points in a Super League championship season with 388.[12] He is only the second Wigan Warriors player to score more than 3,000 points in all competitions. Farrell played for Wigan at loose forward in their 2001 Super League Grand Final loss to the Bradford Bulls. He celebrated his testimonial match in 2002 and also captained Wigan to victory in the 2002 Challenge Cup.

Farrell played for Wigan at loose forward and kicked two goals in the 2003 Super League Grand Final loss to Bradford. He was inducted into the Order of the British Empire for services to the game in the New Year's list of 2004. He won the Players' Player Award and twice won the Man of Steel Award. Now Britain's oldest international, Farrell was then selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end-of-season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament.[13] In the final against Australia he played at second-row forward, missing his only kick for goal in the Lions' 44–4 loss. Farrell was awarded the Golden Boot as the best player in the world in 2004.[14] He retired while second on the list of the England rugby league side's all-time top goal scorers (behind George Fairbairn), with 78 points.

Rugby union

On 24 March 2005 Farrell announced his retirement from rugby league to take on a new challenge with Saracens and the Rugby Football Union. A series of injuries and accidents (including a car crash) meant that his debut in the 15-man code was delayed until 2006. He finally made a try-scoring debut for Saracens reserves on 11 September 2006.[15] Farrell then made his first-team debut against Newcastle Falcons on 17 September 2006 as a replacement. On both occasions he played as blind-side flanker. A row then broke out about his best position: the England management suggested he should be playing in the centre, whilst Saracens continued to play him as a flanker.[16] However Farrell went on to play primarily at centre for the Saracens first team, and again when selected to play for a World XV against South Africa. He was selected as a part of the England Elite squad for the 2007 Six Nations by new coach Brian Ashton. He was seen by some to be the main contender for the starting inside centre position, after England's problems in that position during the 2006 autumn internationals.

Farrell made his England debut at Twickenham after he was named at inside centre in the first Six Nations game against Scotland. The 2007 World Cup saw Farrell starting at inside centre against South Africa, in England's chastening group stage defeat.[17] He was then brought on as a replacement against Tonga, and scored his first England try. However, after being picked for the quarter-final decider against Australia he had to withdraw with a calf injury. Unfortunately he never produced the performances for the England union side for which many had hoped, and ultimately he won only eight caps. In January 2008 Farrell was joined at Saracens by his 16-year-old son Owen Farrell, who signed a three-year academy deal with the club. In August 2008 Farrell was named co-captain for the 2008–09 season along with Steve Borthwick. There were rumours of Farrell returning to rugby league and rejoining Wigan Warriors, after it emerged that Saracens head coach Eddie Jones had become unhappy with the direction his club was taking. It was rumoured that Jones and Farrell could be moving up north, with the Warriors becoming increasingly impatient with out-of-favour Brian Noble especially after their poor start to the season;[18] however this proved to be unfounded, with the Warriors instead hiring Melbourne Storm assistant coach Michael Maguire. In April 2009 Farrell announced his retirement and said he was taking up a coaching role with Saracens at the end of the season.

Coaching career

Farrell was promoted to Saracens first-team coach at the end of 2010 after impressing as skills coach. The RFU announced[19] on 8 December 2011 that both he and Graham Rowntree were to join the national coaching team, led by Stuart Lancaster, for the 2012 Six Nations championship. After the successful campaign Farrell was given the chance to become a permanent part of the England coaching team, but decided to return to Saracens.[20] However, Farrell soon left the London club[21] and the RFU announced on 28 June 2012 that he would join the England coaching team on a three-and-a-half-year contract.[22]

Farrell toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 acting as defence coach, having proved himself with England. He was heavily praised by head coach Warren Gatland, having drilled the team to concede very few points during the 10-match tour.

On 15 December 2015, following the resignation of head coach Stuart Lancaster on 11 November 2015, newly appointed head coach Eddie Jones sacked Farrell along with the rest of the coaching team.[23]

On 6 January 2016 it was announced that Farrell would take up the role of Ireland defence coach after the completion of the 2016 Six Nations Championship. As his previous contract with England prevented him from working with an international team until April 2016, Farrell joined Irish province Munster in January 2016 in a temporary advisor role that was to last for four months.[24]


Previous clubs: Orrell St. James

Super League record at Wigan Warriors 1996–2004


  5. Gareth A Davies (16 November 2004) "My Sport: Andy Farrell" The Telegraph (UK)
  6. ""I've got [Dublin] ancestry that goes back three or four generations, and so has my wife."". Irish Times. 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  7. Andrew Longmore (10 April 2005) The Big Interview: Andy Farrell The Sunday Times (UK)
  8. "Farrell switches codes". London. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  9. Questionnaire – Andy Farrell, Great Britain Rugby League captain (1 November 1999) The Independent
  10. Kisiel, Ryan (16 March 2013). "Birth certificate secret of Owen Farrell, the star carrying England's hopes in today's rugby showdown". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  11. "1997 Premiership Trophy Final". Wigan RL History. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  12. "Farrell switches codes". UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited. 2005-03-23. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  13. "Tri-Nations: Great Britain profiles". Mail Online. UK. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  14. Whalley, John (23 November 2004). "Captain Farrell voted world's best player". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  15. "Farrell finally joins the union". BBC News. 12 September 2006.
  16. "Farrell 'to get chance at centre'". BBC News. 8 October 2006.
  17. "Catt will start at fly half". IRB Rugby World Cup 2007. 13 September 2007. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  18. Kitson, Robert (8 January 2008). "Ashton resists temptation to clear decks". The Guardian. London.
  19. "Lancaster, Rowntree and Farrell to coach England". RFU. 8 December 2011.
  20. "Andy Farrell to stay with Saracens". RFU. 12 April 2012.
  21. "Andy Farrell set for England role after quitting Saracens". Guardian. 1 June 2012.
  22. "Andy Farrell to join England coaching team". RFU. 28 June 2012.
  23. Graham Rowntree, Mike Catt and Andy Farrell leave England roles
  24. "Andy Farrell To Fulfill Temporary Consultant Role". 12 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.

External links

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