England captain Farrell does the gesture to promote a charity
The linked fingers celebration has become synonymous with Owen Farrell, with the England captain making the gesture after every converted kick for both Saracens and England for several years now.
The curving of his two index fingers and linking them together creates the ‘JJ’ symbol, which stands for Joining Jack – a charity aimed at raising funds and awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disorder that currently has no cure.
The charity takes its name from Jack Johnson, the son of former professional rugby league player Andy Johnson who played alongside Owen’s father at Wigan Warriors between 1994 and 1999.
Farrell said that Johnson was one of his idols growing up in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on England Rugby’s Reddit channel earlier this week.
Speaking to the Daily Express in 2017, Farrell said of the gesture: “It’s called the Joining Jack salute.
“It’s something a lot of the rugby league boys have caught on to. Andy Johnson played for a few rugby league clubs and has got a lot of friends in the league community. The sign has caught on massively,” he added.
Andy’s son Jack was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2011 just a few months before his fourth birthday, with the charity subsequently being set up in 2012 as his parents came to terms with the devastating news.
Owen Farrell celebration explained
Owen, alongside his father and Ireland coach Andy Farrell, are two of a high-profile list of ambassadors for the charity that also includes big names such as 2003 World Cup winner Jason Robinson and England rugby league captain Sam Tomkins.
And Farrell makes the ‘JJ’ salute after every conversion or successful penalty when the cameras are on him to bring awareness to the condition and Jack’s story.
The campaign website thanks Farrell for his support as an ambassador and how he “has helped to raise awareness for the Duchenne community on a global scale.”
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