Stuart Lancaster backs Owen Farrell for New Zealand Test

Owen Farrell will start the autumn Test match against the All Blacks if he proves his fitness against Munster on Friday, according to England coach Stuart Lancaster.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has suggested that Owen Farrell will start at fly-half against New Zealand, should he come through a Champions Cup tie with Munster on Friday.

The Saracens stand-off had been struggling with injury, having playing just once this month and being put under pressure for his starting place by Bath's George Ford and Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler.

However, Lancaster revealed that the number 10 shirt will be Farrell's if he comes through the match against the Irish province unscathed.

He is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "I trust Owen, he'll be ready. We've never been afraid to put players in for the first game but you have to get the balance right when you're playing the All Blacks.

"Cohesion and experience is important to us and of the fly-halves we have, Owen is our most experienced.

"He has to do well this weekend because he has some competition. But he's a good player and has been a good player for us. That has to count for something."

Meanwhile, Farrell could be joined in the starting lineup to face the All Blacks by Semesa Rokoduguni after the Bath wing earned a first call-up to the national side.

Danny Cipriani of Sale Sharks converts a try against Worcester Warriors during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks at the Sixways Stadium, on February 22, 2014
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