Andy Farrell, born on May 30, 1975, in Wigan, Greater Manchester, is a highly accomplished rugby player who excelled in both rugby league and rugby union. He is of Irish descent and has made significant contributions to both codes of the sport.
Farrell's rugby career began at a young age when he started playing rugby league at 10 years old. He quickly displayed exceptional talent and joined the local club Orrell St James. At the age of 16, he made his first-team debut for his hometown club Wigan in a match against Keighley in the 1991-92 Regal Trophy.
During his rugby league career, Farrell primarily played as a goal-kicking loose forward. He played for Wigan from 1991 to 2004, achieving remarkable success. He won six Championships and four Challenge Cups with Wigan, establishing himself as a key figure in the team. He frequently captained both Wigan and the national teams of England and Great Britain.
Farrell's international career in rugby league was equally impressive. He earned 34 caps for Great Britain, making his debut at the age of 18. He represented Great Britain in the 1995 and 2000 Rugby League World Cups. In 1994, he played a crucial role as a second-row in Wigan's victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Challenge, which he considers one of his greatest achievements in rugby league.
In rugby union, Farrell joined Saracens in 2005 after announcing his retirement from rugby league. He faced several injuries and setbacks before making his debut in 2006 as a blind-side flanker. However, he eventually transitioned to playing mostly as a center. He earned eight caps for England in rugby union, including participation in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Following his retirement as a player, Farrell embarked on a successful coaching career. He initially served as a skills coach at Saracens before being promoted to the first-team coach. He then took on coaching roles with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the England national team, where he made significant contributions as a backs coach. He was part of the coaching team that guided England to a successful 2012 Six Nations campaign.
Farrell's coaching journey also included a stint with Irish province Munster as a temporary advisor. In 2016, he joined the Ireland national team as the defense coach. In 2019, he was appointed the head coach of the Ireland national team, succeeding Joe Schmidt. Under his leadership, Ireland achieved notable successes, including a series victory against New Zealand in 2022 and a Grand Slam in the 2023 Six Nations Championship.
Outside of his rugby career, Farrell is a family man. He is married to Colleen O'Loughlin, the sister of his former Wigan teammate Sean O'Loughlin. The couple has four children, one of whom is Owen Farrell, who has followed in his father's footsteps and become a prominent rugby union player and captain for England.
Throughout his playing and coaching career, Andy Farrell has left a lasting impact on both rugby league and rugby union. His achievements, leadership, and versatility have cemented his status as a respected figure in the sport.
|2016 - present
|British & Irish Lions
|2024 - present
|2007 - 2009
|2005 - 2009