Farrell receives Wilkinson support
Jonny Wilkinson is adamant Owen Farrell should be kept on as England captain for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Saracens fly-half Farrell came under criticism for his performances towards the end of the 2019 Six Nations, while his leadership qualities were also under the microscope after a second-half collapse in the 38-38 draw with Scotland.
Questions are being asked as to whether the 27-year-old is the right person to skipper England at the World Cup as Eddie Jones' men aim to lift the trophy for the first time since 2003.
Wilkinson, who famously kicked the extra-time drop goal 16 years ago, has thrown his support behind the under-fire Farrell, saying the fly-half is "pretty ruthless" on the pitch.
"He has a leadership quality, he has a real conviction about how he sees the game, he has openness outside of the game to learn, but when he's on the field he's pretty ruthless," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"That's kind of what guys look for - a guy that listens - but, when it comes to decision-making time, he makes the decision and there's no grey about it, 'this is what we're doing, this is how we're going to do it'."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.