England v Samoa
Hodgson questions Farrell centre switch
ESPN Staff
November 18, 2014
George Ford and Owen Farrell could be set to start together for England v Samoa © Getty Images
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Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson has questioned reports that his team-mate Owen Farrell will start at inside centre for England against Samoa this weekend, saying it would be a "big call" to shift the fly-half out a spot.

Farrell has looked out of sorts in England's opening two autumn international defeats to New Zealand and South Africa and is expected to be replaced in the No.10 jersey by Bath's George Ford. Incumbent centre Kyle Eastmond is undergoing concussion protocols in a bid to be fit, Billy Twelvetrees picked up an ankle knock playing for Gloucester on Friday and Luther Burrell has only just returned from a hand injury, making it increasingly likely that Farrell will slot in at No.12.

"Owen has played the majority of matches in his professional career at No.10," Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 Live. "To throw him in there would be a big call. If they need that extra ball player in the centre, Owen is potentially the player to go to.

"It's a difficult situation putting Farrell and Ford on at the same time. Owen is a strong character himself and he wants to have control of what's going on. He might find that a bit difficult to do that from 12 and it might go against what George is trying to do at 10."

Hodgson played at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre in Stuart Lancaster's first two games in charge before Hodgson announced his international retirement in 2012.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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