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Farrell banned for World Cup openers

Owen Farrell will only miss two of England’s World Cup pool matches after a successful World Rugby appeal saw him handed a backdated four-week ban for his dangerous tackle.

Farrell faced another disciplinary panel on Tuesday after World Rugby appealed against the controversial decision to downgrade the flyhalf’s red card for a high shoulder-led challenge on Taine Basham during a 19-17 warm-up win over Wales at Twickenham to yellow.

The Appeal Committee unanimously determined that in the original hearing the Disciplinary Committee should have considered Farrell’s attempt to wrap his opponent in the tackle.

This point did not feature in the original decision and led to the case starting afresh, which included once again hearing from Farrell.

The Appeal Committee determined that the tackle was always illegal, upholding the original red card decision.

Farrell was handed World Rugby’s mandatory minimum six-week mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. However, this was reduced by two weeks, taking into account Farrell’s “acceptance of foul play, clear demonstration of remorse and his good character”.

The ban was also backdated to include the World Cup warm-up match between Ireland and England in Dublin, which Farrell would have played in if he was not stood down due to the appeal.

This means that Farrell will only miss two of England World Cup’s games, including their Pool D opener against Argentina on 9 September.

Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP


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