England‘s record points scorer Owen Farrell is in talks to sign with with Top 14 giants Racing 92, a source has told ESPN.
The news was first reported in France by Midi Olympique and L’Equipe, who say the hugely experienced international is weighing up signing a two-year deal to swap the Gallagher Premiership for the Top 14, where he would reunite with ex-England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Farrell, 32, became England’s record points scorer in the 2023 Rugby World Cup and captained the team to the semifinals but stepped back from international duty after the tournament to prioritise his and his family’s mental wellbeing.
He has also been a key player for Saracens since breaking through as a 16-year-old, but if he completes the move, it would be one of the most surprising transfers in recent memory.
Racing 92 have denied reports that they have agreed a deal with Farrell.
“Racing 92 is regularly subject to lots of speculation surrounding movement related to its squad. We are delighted with the appeal of our club. However, we deny all reports of an agreement with the English player Owen Farrell,” a statement said.
Although he has stepped back from international duty, a move to France would make Farrell ineligible to play for England while he’s there due to RFU policy.
Henry Arundell has already been out of selection for England after he signed a two-year deal with Racing 92 ahead of next season.
Others like Joe Marchant and David Ribbans are also in the Top 14 at Stade Francais and Toulon respectively while Lewis Ludlam is set to join Toulon at the end of the season.
Farrell has been a key player for England since his Test debut in 2012 and represented the British & Irish Lions on the 2013, 2017 and 2021 tours.
If Farrell does complete the switch, it will put further pressure on the RFU’s policy of not picking players based outside the Gallagher Premiership.
To halt the exodus, the RFU is bringing in hybrid contracts, where they’ll pay up to £150,000 per season to a group of players with Jamie George and Maro Itoje believed to be two players who have spurned overseas offers to take up such a deal and stay in the Premiership.