England captain Owen Farrell will miss two of his country’s games at next month’s Rugby World Cup in France. Steve Borthwick’s fly half was originally cleared to play with immediate effect Tuesday of last week when the verdict of his independent disciplinary hearing emerged over his red card in the August 12 Summer Nations Series win over Wales. .
Farrell initially received a yellow card at Twickenham for smashing his shoulder into the head of Wales substitute Taine Basham.
That decision soon escalated to a red card in the TMO bunker review, but the judiciary – which consisted an all-Australian panel of Adam Casselden (SC, Chairman) and two former Wallaby players, John Langford and David Croft – he downgraded that penalty three days later to a yellow card, freeing Farrell to play without a penalty.
However, World Rugby decided last Thursday to exercise its right to appeal and that resulted in the case being reviewed by a different judicial committee on Tuesday. composed of Nigel Hampton KC (Chairman, New Zealand), along with Shao-ing Wang (Singapore) and Donal Courtney (Ireland).
Since then, the verdict was out and Farrell has been banned for four games: England’s final two Summer Nations Series games against Ireland and Fiji and the opening Rugby World Cup group stage games against Argentina. and Japan.
A Six Nations statement read: “Following an initial disciplinary committee hearing for England number 10 Owen Farrell, who received a red card during the Summer Nations Series match between England and Wales on 12 August, World Rugby filed a formal appeal against the committee’s decision to downgrade. the red card to a yellow one, asking that the red card be kept.
“The appeal committee met on Tuesday 22 August and unanimously determined that at the original hearing the disciplinary committee should have considered the player’s attempt to involve his opponent in the tackle. This point did not appear in the original decision.
“The foul attempt to wrap was considered a major element of the foul play review officer (FPRO) report and led to an upgrade from the referee’s yellow card to a red card during the match.
“As this element was not included in the original decision, the appeal committee decided that it was in the interest of justice to hear the case again only on that key point, which included hearing the player.
“After the appeal committee’s review of this key element, it was determined that FPRO was correct in its decision that led to the red card. The appeal committee later determined that the entry was “always illegal”.
“When applying the terms of World Rugby’s head contact process, no mitigation can be applied to a tackle that is ‘always illegal’.
“The appeal committee therefore found that the disciplinary committee’s decision to downgrade the red card to a yellow card had been manifestly incorrect, which led to the disciplinary committee’s decision being reversed, the appeal brought by World Rugby and the red card will be confirmed. .
“In considering the sanction, the committee applied World Rugby’s mid-range mandatory minimum entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head (six matches). Taking into account all considerations, including the player’s acceptance of foul play, his clear display of remorse and his good character, the committee agreed to a four-match suspension.
“The appeals committee accepted submissions on behalf of the player that the Ireland vs England match on 19 August, for which the player was voluntarily withdrawn, would be included as part of the ban. Therefore, the suspension applies to the following matches:
- Ireland vs England (August 19); England vs Fiji (August 26); England vs Argentina (September 9); England vs Japan (September 17)”.
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