Report- Owen Farrell celebration: What does England rugby star’s celebration mean? | Rugby | Sport

By
Updated: November 10, 2018
Owen Farrell celebration: What does England rugby star’s celebration mean? | Rugby | Sport

Owen Farrell’s celebration involves linking both his index fingers together as he holds his hands out in front of him.

And the reason for his celebration stems from his close relationship with one of his biggest fans – seven-year-old Jack Johnson.

Sports-mad Jack suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a debilitating muscle-wasting disorder that will leave him crippled and unable to walk.

Having learned about Jack’s condition a few years ago, Farrell has been a big supporter of his in raising awareness of the charity Joining Jack.

Farrell first found out about Jack because their fathers both used to play together at Wigan Warriors.

That’s when the Saracens star decided he would dedicate every point he scored to Jack by linking his fingers together to make a ‘JJ’ sign – the initials of Joining Jack – to showcase his support.

Speaking last year, Farrell said: “The charity is called Joining Jack and the sign is hooking the two index fingers together to create two Js – it’s called the Joining Jack salute.

“It’s something a lot of the rugby league boys have caught on to.

“Andy Johnson (Jack’s father) played for a few rugby league clubs and has got a lot of friends in the league community. The sign has caught on massively.”

The Johnson family have previously expressed their gratitude for Farrell’s support over the years.

The Johnson family said: “Everyone at Joining Jack is so grateful for Owen’s support, he is a fantastic ambassador for the charity and never forgets to help raise awareness whenever he can.”

Farrell’s efforts have helped inspire other sports stars such as England team-mate Ben Burgess and cycling legend Bradley Wiggins to also raise awareness.

To help or find out more information please visit JoiningJack.org.

Meanwhile, ahead of today’s clash with New Zealand, Farrell has been forced to defend his controversial no-arms challenge on Andre Esterhuizen in injury-time of last Saturday’s 12-11 victory over South Africa.

The 27-year-old escaped disciplinary action but insists his approach to defending is legitimate.

“I’m not trying to play to the edge of the rules. I’m definitely not trying to do that, especially not when the clock has gone red in a Test match,” Farrell said.

“Obviously you try and go forward and tackle…some people will and some won’t understand that when a collision is big how difficult it is.

“But I’m well aware of the rules. I don’t want to play on the edge, I want to play within the rules.

“But that’s last weekend. It’s done and it definitely won’t be in my head going into New Zealand.”