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Owen Farrell’s new Racing 92 team-mate Siya Kolisi has hit back at the criticism that the former England captain ahs faced for his move to France.

Farrell, who had ruled himself out of the Six Nations tp prioritise his mental health, is now ineligible to play for his country after joining Racing.

“For Owen, I really don’t understand, he’s one of the greatest players to come out of England,” Kolisi told RugbyPass TV.

“People must know we’re also human beings. We have feelings, this stuff does hurt us. Saying something hurtful to someone, it’s not nice, and when it goes on and on and on people struggle and they can’t take it.

“I’m so respectful towards him in choosing himself. We think rugby is your life – no, you’ve got kids, you’ve got a wife, you still have to be ok and be present and be mentally able because those are the people who suffer the most, your loved ones.

“He’s realised something’s got to give. He’s got to look after himself and that was his way of saying ‘ok, I’ve still got to be fine after this.’

“I love Owen, I really like him. I don’t understand why people don’t like him, I just think he’s f***ing competitive which is what you want. He’s really a good leader, I think he’s very competitive and he’s just misunderstood.”

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