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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Probyn slams Farrell recruitment
Andy Farrell
Farrell has only played 16 minutes in the Guinness Premiership
Former England prop Jeff Probyn says Andy Farrell's involvement with the national set-up is a waste of time.

Probyn was also a member of the Rugby Football Union's Club England committee until this summer.

Probyn said Farrell's recruitment was "an act of desperation by (former England backs coach) Joe Lydon".

"Lydon has now gone and Farrell is not playing in the backs," said Probyn, who added that Farrell has no chance of playing in the World Cup next year.

The former Great Britain rugby league captain is currently training with the England squad but has had a frustrating introduction to the 15-man code since moving across last year.

He missed the whole of last season because of injury and his union career has so far been limited to two Guinness A League games, an EDF Cup match and 16 minutes as a Premiership substitute this term.

"I feel sorry for Farrell, because he is being given no time to learn what is a completely alien sport for him," Probyn told The Guardian newspaper.

"He is not ready to play for England now and he will not be anywhere near the required level by the start of the World Cup next year.

"I find the prospect of him playing against New Zealand or South Africa next month embarrassing and annoying."

Probyn said he was not against recruiting rugby league players but insisted they must be young players who had time to learn the differences between the 13-man and 15-man codes.

"Club England earlier this year agreed to help fund the move of Chev Walker from Leeds (Rhinos) to Bath and I went along with that," said Probyn.

"He is 23 and plays in the centre - he will have plenty of time to adapt to union."

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