Owen Farrell waits to learn fate following sending off against Wales

Owen Farrell waits to learn fate following sending off against Wales

Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing

Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news

Thanks for signing up to the
Sport email

Owen Farrell will learn on Tuesday if he is to miss England’s critical World Cup opener against Argentina after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle against Wales.

Farrell’s shoulder-led challenge to the head of Taine Basham in Saturday’s 19-17 victory at Twickenham was upgraded from a yellow card to red by the ‘Bunker’ review system.

England’s captain must now appear before a video disciplinary hearing that begins on Tuesday morning to find out the length of his suspension.

The mid-range sanction for a dangerous tackle is six games and given he received a three-match ban for the same offence in January, on top of five matches in 2020 and two in 2016, it is doubtful he will be treated leniently by the disciplinary process.

Fixtures against Ireland and Fiji complete England’s warm-up schedule for the World Cup before their group campaign is launched with a pivotal group clash with Argentina in Marseille on September 9.


Steve Borthwick now faces the likely prospect of being without his skipper and talisman for the toughest opponents in Pool D, while his participation against Japan, Chile and Samoa are also in question.

Henry Arundell, Freddie Steward and Ellis Genge were shown yellow cards too and at one point England were reduced to 12 men, although that merely inspired an audacious comeback expertly directed by Farrell’s replacement George Ford.

Courtney Lawes, the frontrunner to become captain if Farrell is unavailable, admits that despite an escape act that showed remarkable resilience, the disciplinary implosion must be addressed.

“There aren’t many teams who would win that game, so we can take a lot of positives from it,” Lawes said.

“At the same time it’s not good enough going down to 12 men. If we keep putting ourselves in situations like that, we’re not likely to do as well as we did.

“We’ve got a lot to learn but it’s great to show everyone our strength in character so early and it gives us confidence to push on and get things right so that the next time we’re out there we get one step better.

“Sometimes you’ve got to find a way to win and we certainly did that against Wales. We will do our very best to take it forward and keep on improving.”

Farrell’s looming absence justifies Borthwick’s decision to pick three fly-halves in his World Cup squad and it was Ford who took centre stage in an unlikely comeback, his match-winning penalty only one element of a masterclass in game management.

“This win is going to be big for us. You can’t put a value on stuff like that,” Ford said.

“However you train and whatever scenarios you train, it’s not like it is in the heat of the moment when you have three men in the sin-bin, are points down and under the sticks.

“You can never replicate that and this gives us unbelievable belief, a real solid platform to know what we can do.

“Traditional English rugby is set-piece orientated, so getting on top there to be able to play the game we want to play and we’ll take some real belief from that.”


Ford insists England, who are sweating on the fitness of ankle-injury victim Jack van Poortvliet, will rally around Farrell.

“Owen’s not a player who would intentionally want to do that. We’ll get behind him, he’s our captain and our leader and he’ll be back,” Ford said.

Source: Read Full Article