The fly-half had an inspirational match as leader in last weekend’s blistering triumph away to Ireland, and the man most impressed was head coach Eddie Jones.
“Yes, Owen’s playing a key role now in driving the team forward,” said Jones as his side prepare to face France in their second match of the Six Nations Championship on Sunday afternoon.
“He’s definitely progressing in the right direction as a captain. I thought last week, particularly, he handled the referee well. And he’s being well supported by a good group of lieutenants, so I’d say the leadership of the team is growing. That’s a dynamic state, so it can vary from one week to the next but I think Owen is doing an excellent job for us.
“Captaincy is about experience, it’s about having different situations, learning from it when you’ve made a mistake and making sure you don’t make that mistake again. That’s where Owen’s still learning his craft.
“The players are increasingly taking more responsibility for the team performance and Owen’s a great driver in making sure that everyone knows their role, everyone understands the principles of how we want to play.
“He’s the bus driver, he’s the conductor, so you’ve got to find the right route and then you’ve got to make sure everyone is doing their role and Owen’s doing that pretty well for us, taking us in the right direction.”
With co-captain Hartley on the sidelines through injury, there is a clear sense that Farrell has stepped up as the talisman in the dressing room, relishing the challenge of being in charge.
The Saracens No 10 revealed that he is actively working on leadership skills, trying to look, listen and learn from others in sport. One of those he admires is American Football legend Tom Brady, the veteran quarterback who inspired New England Patriots to another Super Bowl victory last weekend.
“I read books about Brady and listen to podcasts and try to pick up everything I can,” said Farrell.
“He is so calm and controlled under pressure; he is in charge of everything that happens in the game. But I can’t pass forward like him!”
England won a bruising battle in Dublin last weekend and it is likely to be another brutal occasion at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon against a formidably heavy French pack.
Head coach Jones said he believes his team can not merely sustain their level of performance against the Irish but improve still further, and referred to another icon of American sport for his conviction.
“I think we can get better,” said Jones. “I always remember a press conference with Tiger Woods after he took 12 months to remodel his swing and the interviewer said to him, ‘Can you be as good as you were?’ Tiger said the reason he had taken time off was to be better – and there is no reason why we can’t keep on getting better, no reason at all.
“I think the team is progressing in the right direction, but it is step by step. We are making sure we are focused on what is important at that particular time, and the most important thing now is to play well against France.
“Every England v France game I have seen has been or lost up front. It is always a tough encounter up front – two big packs and whichever pack wins will set a pretty good foundation for their team to play well.
“They will try to get some assertiveness through their pack and we will certainly look to do the same. One of the things about rugby which hasn’t changed is that forwards win games and backs finish it off.”
Meanwhile, France wing legend Philippe Saint-Andre hopes the visitors will use both brain and brawn to keep Saracens star Farrell quiet when the two old enemies clash on Sunday.
Saint-Andre said: “He is so influential on the way they play and on the team.
“If he plays well and is allowed to put England on the front foot then France could find things very tough.
“He is outstanding in defence. He tackles well, he is brave and he is very vocal during the game. He has a good rugby brain and supports the attack.”