George hails 'genius' Farrell

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

Jamie George hailed Owen Farrell as a "genius" after he produced another inspired display in England's Six Nations thrashing of Italy.

Farrell showed his all-round class, thriving in his role as captain in a 44-8 thumping of Les Bleus at Twickenham on Sunday.

Hooker George waxed lyrical over his Saracens and England team-mate following his latest masterclass.

"The bloke's a genius." said George. "I never see him have a bad game and that's why he's one of the best players in the world, if not the best player in the world.

"In my eyes, it's amazing to be playing with a fly-half and captain who is as dominant as he is and who leads from the front in the way that he does.

"Owen's been a captain and leader for a long time now. It's not a new thing for us but he does it really well and it brings the best out of him in terms of his game.

"He's performing really well."

England are top of the table after bonus-point wins over Ireland and France, but George says there is room for improvement ahead of a potentially decisive showdown with Wales in Cardiff a week on Saturday.

"We have to be aware that we did well against France but recognise that it wasn't the perfect performance," said the forward.

"We really did a lot of analysis. We focused on ourselves a lot this week and tried to make sure we put our best performance out there.

"We still didn't do that so an exciting thing for us is there's still a lot to come. The important thing for us is to keep the ball rolling."

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    "If [national selector] Ed Smith came to myself and [head coach] Trevor [Bayliss] and said he felt that Alex was the best option, we would have to assess how that would sit in the changing room and the stigma it would bring with Alex coming back in," Morgan told the BBC's Test Match Special.

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    The England captain did reveal on Monday that the injury worries had led to discussions about potential call-ups should the problems prove serious.

    "When we selected the squad, we did have conversations, sort of underlying replacements for particular players," said Morgan. 

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    Eoin Morgan's side have made a purposeful start to the tournament on home soil and demonstrated why they top the ICC ODI rankings in Friday's eight-wicket thrashing of West Indies.

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    It has been an impressive start from England, winning three of their opening four matches with South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies all dispatched. Anything but a place in the semi-finals would be a disappointment.

    Afghanistan sit bottom and their task has been made more onerous following the loss during the tournament of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad. They did give Sri Lanka a scare in Cardiff, however, until eventually being beaten by 34 runs on the DLS method.

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    Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib: "We are trying to do our best in the matches, but if I look at my team, I didn't like how we played last time [in the nine-wicket defeat to South Africa]. England is a strong side, it's a home side, so everything is on England's side. Afghanistan don't play home cricket a lot. We are used to it but it's a tough game."

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