Borthwick solves Smith-Farrell problem with craziest Farrell position switch yet
By Rugby Onslaught

Borthwick solves Smith-Farrell problem with craziest Farrell position switch yet

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and amid a bit of a hooker crisis in the England camp at the moment, Steve Borthwick has turned to the player he trusts the most.

With both Luke Cowan-Dickie and George McGuigan out, Borthwick has selected Harlequins’ Jack Walker as his replacement hooker behind Jamie George this Six Nations so far, with even his first choice hooker facing a race to be fit in time.

With hooker reserves clearly running low, it looks as though Borthwick has already picked his next in line- none other than captain Owen Farrell.

With many people wanting to see Marcus Smith in the starting line up, but equally many people no longer wanting to see the Smith-Farrell combination anymore, the only logical solution is to move Farrell into the front row. It just makes sense- it ensures both Smith and Farrell are on the pitch without their 10-12 combo and solves a crisis in the No2 jersey.

This was revealed in England training at Twickenham recently, where Farrell was seen practicing his lineout throwing, meaning he is clearly England’s next hooker. He may already be ahead of the Walker in the hooking pecking order, and may well be ahead of Jamie George as well. Why else would the England fly-half be practicing his lineout throwing ahead of a Test match against Italy?

The only other alternative is that Farrell is England’s back up thrower in case the team find themselves in the undesirable position they found themselves in last year in the Calcutta Cup where both hookers were off the field. Joe Marler was forced to throw in on that occasion, and it just about went as badly as a lineout possibly could. England could be preparing to avoid being in that situation again, but it makes much more sense that he is becoming a hooker.

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