Saracens as a club are at the top of their game at the moment. Current European champions, premiership champions for the second year in a row and they have signed world class players for this season. What comes with this is a team that has a breadth of amazing players who can do the job at hand, this leaves coaches with the difficult decision of who to leave on the bench and who to be in the starting 15.
For me, personally, the fly half position is one of the most important positions on the field. This position delegates the field when in attack, usually kicks at goal and really ties the team together. This is why I think the competition for the number 10 shirt at Saracens at the moment is one to watch. On one side we have Owen Farrell, the world class 10 that has proven himself not only for Saracens but also for England. On the other hand we have Alex Lozowski, who played excellently for his previous team Wasps and in his first few games for Saracens, he has established his name and showed what he can do with a rugby ball in hand.
It seems as though the club’s coaches may have already made their decision concerning this battle. Owen has been out all of this current season due to injury, the European game against Toulon was the first time the coaches could choose him for selection. They immediately benched Lozowski, who had been filling in the jersey all season, in favour of Owen. Some fans disagreed with this decision with one saying ‘how can Alex Lozowski be dropped? He’s been excellent’, another commenting ‘feel for Alex Lozowski missing out this one. He kept the ship level in Owen Farrell’s absence’. But it seems the coaches made the right decision. During his first game back Farrell kicked 16 points, set up a critical try and was man of the match. They have also started Farrell ahead of Lozowski for all of the following games in the season. However due to Farrell’s pristine form at the moment should we rule out Lozowski’s efforts this season?
In his first games for the club he has won all but one game and scored 4 tries. He managed to fill the shoes of Owen Farrell, many were worried about the blow Saracens’ goal kicking was going to have but Lozowski knocked the majority of them over. Are the coaches just being blinded by the shine of England’s summer success? Is it wrong not to play Lozowski when he was just hitting his stride in the position?
When this battle will become fierce I think is when the international period of rugby begins. Eddie Jones, England Rugby’s head coach, has selected both Lozowski and Farrell for the international team. They have to compete for club and international shirts. Especially with George Ford thrown into the mix the set up for England this season will be an interesting one to see play out.
Both Farrell and Lozowski are performing extremely well, so keep a look out for this fearsome fight for the 10 shirt.