New father Owen Farrell will launch himself into the mother and father of all European confrontations with a much greater sense of how to deal with Munster than with the demands of parenthood.
Last month, the wife of the English captain, Georgie Lyon, gave birth to a son – their first child – on the day her husband was a guest in the quarterfinals of the Heineken Champions Cup against Glasgow.
He stayed with her at the hospital and finally gave up the idea of a hurried sprint to Allianz Park, because the birth took place while the competition was going on.
New father Owen Farrell believes that Saracens are able to achieve another Champions Cup triumph
The flying half has a crucial role to play if its party has to achieve a third title in four years
In his absence, Saracens brushed aside his Scottish rivals to earn a place in the semi-final at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The majority of the team celebrated with a short break together in St Anton, but Farrell was home again and seized the new arrival. & # 39; There have been no surprises because I had no idea in the first place! & # 39; he said. & # 39; Does anyone have & & # 39;
Although Farrell does not like being open to personal matters, he apparently enjoys his new family life and adds: & # 39; It's great, I love it. & # 39; What about sleeping? & # 39; I'm good, I can't feed it! & # 39; he said.
& # 39; I find it incredibly attractive when you get home. People told me this before you have children: when you are home and you have children, it is exciting to be at home, to sit there with him – although he cannot do too much right now – but your mind is not wandering around.
& # 39; Your mind doesn't think about what happened during the training, your mind doesn't think about what will happen the next day, so you notice a lot more in it. & # 39;
Farrell & # 39; s wife Georgie gave birth to their first child for the quarterfinals of Saracens
His family life can offer the perspective and balance that Farrell needs during a crucial period in his sporting life.
At the age of 27 he inherited the captain of Test and it seems that he will lead England to the World Cup later this year.
Nevertheless, the Six Nations defeated Wales and the epic 38-38 draw with Scotland, that England caused a 31-0 lead criticism of his leadership and an acknowledgment by Eddie Jones that he was a work in progress as a skipper.
While Saracens was preparing for Munster and their legendary Red Army on Saturday afternoon, Farrell was just as reluctant to talk about the Twickenham competition in Scotland as he was about paternity, but he touched on the difficult subject.
& # 39; How much momentum they received was a shock for us & # 39 ;, he said, referring to how the bulkheads scored six unanswered attempts. & # 39; We tried to do what we thought was right at the time, but we couldn't get it under control until the end. & # 39;
It is a great year for Farrell to take on the leader of England with the World Cup
Asked if that episode would deliver valuable lessons relevant to the field, Farrell added: & Absolutely. You have to keep control, not only of what you do, but also how you feel and how you react to everything that is thrown at you. That is something that is huge this weekend.
& # 39; As soon as you think it is going one way and going the other way, if you are not ready for that, then it is a shock and you get nervous.
& # 39; That's something we don't want to be at the weekend, we want to have control over how we feel and how we can control ourselves. That will be great for us. & # 39;
In Coventry, in a hostile atmosphere – with their fans explicitly numbered outside – Saracens will need the familiar version of Farrell that retains calm, control and authority. They need the assured playmaker who has all the answers in every conceivable situation, not the rushed, confused version that gets lost, just like his team in England when the pressure was exerted by Wales and Scotland.
The captain of England insists that his party must control the competition
& # 39; Of course you learn from every experience you are thrown in and I learned a lot in those Six Nations & # 39 ;, said Farrell. & # 39; There were a lot of things that we thought we were doing well and some things that we could have done better. But I now concentrate on Munster. & # 39;
He knows what is coming and he is adamant that he and Saracens can handle both the opposition and the great opportunity.
& # 39; Munster is a team that fights for everything, they are a team that likes to play on the big European evenings and afternoons and this is one of them, so it will be difficult & # 39 ;, Farrell said.
& # 39; We must be aware of their upward trend to the level that they have previously done in Europe and have not been shocked by, be able to cope with it and play our own game.
& # 39; You don't get much bigger than the European semi-finals against a club like Munster, and no matter how much they like to play in these great games, that's what we do. We have not done so badly before that. & # 39;
He has a point. Two years ago, Saracens stormed to a 26-10 win over Munster in Dublin in the same phase of this tournament on the way to winning the title for the second consecutive year. The English champions have appeared in three of the last five finals of Europe & # 39; s blue riband event.
Farrell may not know what to expect from parenthood, but he knows exactly what to expect from these Irish visitors. If he keeps control, Saracens will certainly be on his way to a new final.
Saracens stormed a 26-10 win over Munster in Dublin in the semifinals in 2017