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Owen Farrell to play for World XV against France

England fly-half Owen Farrell will play for a World XV team against France on June 22 in Spain, it was announced on Friday.

Farrell, who has not played for England since taking a step back from internationals “to prioritise his and his family’s mental well-being” in November, will feature in the match at Athletic Club‘s San Mames stadium in Bilbao.

“The prospect of playing for the World XV is incredibly exciting,” Farrell said in a statement.

“This will be the first time I will have played for an invitation team such as the World XV and joining up with guys you normally line up against for club or country, such as Semi Radradra, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, in a less pressurised environment is something I am really looking forward to.”

The World XV will be led by former All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, with the team also featuring Billy and Mako Vunipola.

“I am delighted Owen has made himself available to play for the World XV against France in Bilbao,” Foster said.

“Having a player of Owen’s ability, leadership and experience both at club level for Saracens and International level with England and the British & Irish Lions will be a massive asset to the World XV team.

“Owen has proven to be one of the most influential leaders in world rugby with outstanding contributions both on and off the pitch.

“Being in the World XV camp for the week will be no different, and I am sure he will be one of the key leaders in setting the tone, driving standards at training and on matchday too.”

Farrell joined French club Racing 92 from Saracens on January 22, signing a two-year deal that means he is ineligible for Test selection.

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