TOKYO (Reuters) – England are not concerned by the form of captain Owen Farrell even if his performance in Saturday’s 39-10 Rugby World Cup win over Argentina was a little bit clunky, attack coach Scott Wisemantel said.
The 28-year-old, who played at inside centre outside George Ford, had a disappointing first half, missing four shots at goal in a row, either side of being clattered in the head by Puma’s lock Tomas Lavanini, who was sent off.
“I don’t think the bump had any effect on him. I asked after the game. He said he felt pretty good — just a bit clunky with a few of the plays,” Wisemantel told reporters.
“We have reviewed it and there are a couple of areas we need to pick up on, but he was fine. He did outstandingly well. He’s a tough, competitive player who, if anything because he competes so hard, probably tries to over-rectify the situation.
“There were a couple of things. And it wasn’t just Owen. In and around him there were a few things that were clunky.”
Asked what he meant by clunky, Wisemantel added: “When I say clunky, look, I’m a perfectionist. You’re never going to get a perfect game. We scored six tries and five to the backs, so we’re not too clunky.
“I probably exaggerated, because there’s a story there with Owen, you are going down that route and I’m trying to deflect.
“There are other things I see around him that aren’t perfect that we need to get right. So I don’t think you can read into it too much… because in general he was good and did the role we wanted him to play.”
Farrell missed training on Tuesday with a stomach bug and Wisemantel suggested that he could be rested for Saturday’s clash with France, which will determine who tops Pool C heading into the quarter-finals.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)