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‘Gutted’ Farrell rues World Cup ban

England captain Owen Farrell has accepted the “mistake” that will see him miss the start of the 2023 World Cup, but remains excited for the tournament.

Farrell will be suspended for Saturday’s opener against Argentina and a clash with Japan after his red card for a high tackle in a warm-up game against Wales.

The 31-year-old initially had his red card downgraded to a yellow by a disciplinary hearing, only for World Rugby to successfully appeal the decision.

He is banned for England’s first two pool games of the World Cup.

“I made a mistake and I got banned for it in the end. I’m not going to sit here and moan about it now,” Farrell said, speaking about the incident for the first time publicly on Monday.

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“I’m excited for this World Cup to start. I’m excited to see what this team can do and I look forward to being available again.

“I’m gutted not to be playing and I’m gutted not to be available. Especially a big game like this at the weekend.”

England have lost six of their nine games under coach Steve Borthwick, including a first ever defeat to Fiji in their final warm-up game.

But England’s prospects in France could be aided by a kind draw.

Farrell should make his return against Chile before England take on Samoa in their final pool game.

“I’m excited for the team now,” added Farrell. “There’s a real good feeling about the World Cup starting in France now. I’m excited to play my role in that.”

© Agence France-Presse

Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP

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