Why does Owen Farrell pull his finger? England rugby player’s Joining Jack gesture explained

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England rugby player Owen Farrell can be seen pulling his finger after scoring.

Owen Farrell has been a fixture in the England and Saracens rugby teams for more than a decade.

Perhaps best known on the pitch for his leadership, tough tackling and prowess from the kicking tee, he is also often seen making a specific gesture. After scoring points - such as taking conversations at the rugby World Cup in France - Farrell turns to the nearest camera and pulls his finger.

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The gesture has often left rugby fans confused about what it all means. But while it might seem unsuaul, it is actually linked a charity that Farrell is a support of called Joining Jack.

Here’s all you need to know about the gesture and why Owen Farrell does it?

Why does he pull his finger?

Owen Farrell can be spotted pulling his finger any time he scores points on a rugby pitch - usually after taking a penalty or a conversion. The gesture is meant to look like the logo of Joining Jack - which features two interlocking js.

Farrell has a close relationship with the charity’s namesake Jack Johnson, a sports-mad boy who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Farrell has been making the gesture for a number of years now, including during England’s run to the World Cup final in 2019.

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What is Joining Jack?

Joining Jack is a charity raising money and awareness for research into treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It is a severe type of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects boys, symptoms usally begin around the age of four.

Typically DMD causes muscle loss first in the thighs and pelvis which is then followed by the arms. It can result in trouble standing up and most are unable to walk by the age of 12.

Currently there is no known cure for DMD, however treatement such as physical therapy, braces, and corrective surgery may help with some symptoms. DMD Is terminal condition and death usually occurs before the age of 30.

After Jack was diagnosed with DMD, his parents started the campaign and have raised over £2m.

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On its website, Joining Jack says: “There are no words to describe the utter devastation felt upon hearing that your child’s life will be cut short because there is no cure.

“We have had the greatest pleasure watching Jack develop into the amazing boy he is today but now, unbelievably, we must prepare ourselves for his steady decline.

“And the worst part? Seeing him struggle as his body wastes away and being absolutely powerless to help.”

How did Owen Farrell get involved?

Owen’s dad Andy Farrell, who is the current coach of the Ireland national team, was a rugby league player before switching codes in the 00s.

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Durng his time with Wigan Warrior in the rugby league he was teammates with Jack’s dad Andy Johnson and that is how they know the family.

Both Andy and Owen Farrell are ambassadors for the Joining Jack charity.

Speaking about being an ambassador, Andy Farrell said: “I feel honoured to be an Ambassador for Joining Jack; a charity to help raise, much needed awareness of the fatal disease Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy.

“When AJ asked me to help the first thing that came to mind was my own two sons, as this mainly affects boys, and if anything was ever to happen to them I would hope and pray that I would also get support from friends.

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“ AJ has been a great friend since we started to play Rugby together and to help him with this charity is a great privilege.

“Being pro-active in difficult times will give this wonderful family the hope that we all pray for. So please share this story with as many friends, family and associates as possible and lets all join together to give Jack and children like him the life that they deserve.”

Other ambassdors include Shaun Edwards and Jason Robinson.

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