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Red Card Drama: England’s Captain Owen Farrell Out for First Two World Cup Games
Owen Farrell’s luck turned sour when a yellow card transformed into a red thanks to rugby’s new ‘bunker’ review system. Now, England’s captain will be on the sidelines for the first two World Cup pool games.
Here’s the deal: World Rugby didn’t like the decision to overturn Farrell’s red card and decided to appeal. The result? The red card was reinstated, and a four-game ban was handed down. Farrell will be MIA for the games against Argentina and Japan, as well as two warm-up fixtures.
Initially, an independent judicial committee had overturned Farrell’s red card. But then the appeal committee came along on Tuesday and overruled that decision. Why? They thought Farrell’s tackle was “always illegal.” No sugarcoating it!
During England’s 19-17 victory over Wales on August 12, Farrell became England’s first player to be hit with a red card under the new ‘bunker’ review system. His high tackle on Taine Basham got him into this mess.
The appeal committee did some digging and realized that the disciplinary committee didn’t quite get things right. They should have considered Farrell’s tackle attempt more closely, they said. In the end, the appeal committee found that there was no wiggle room for mitigation, and the overturning of the red card? A big mistake.
This ban will include Farrell’s absence in the 29-10 loss to Ireland in Dublin, a game that he voluntarily sat out of, knowing that World Rugby was planning to appeal.
While Farrell cools his heels, England’s working hard on tackling techniques, trying to avoid any more red card drama. But opinions on Farrell’s red card are as divided as pineapple on pizza.
The 31-year-old captain will be missing England’s final warm-up game against Fiji this weekend and those first two pool matches. He’s set to return on September 23 against Chile.
England’s opening game against Argentina is coming up soon on September 9 in Marseille. Mark your calendars!
World Rugby, when appealing the overturned ban, reminded everyone that “player safety is priority numero uno.” Back in January, the RFU approved some new rules, like reducing tackle height to help player safety, and tightening laws on high tackles in pro games.
But wait, there’s more: England’s number eight Billy Vunipola is also in hot water for a red card against Ireland. If he gets banned for more than one game, England will be without their only specialist number eight at the start of the competition.
So grab some popcorn and subscribe to the Rugby Union Weekly podcast, because the World Cup drama is just heating up! And in other news, if you’re into deliciously daft comedy, don’t miss this messy hen-do derailed by the apocalypse in an isolated Welsh cottage. Speaking of derailments, one of Britain’s most callous and brutal killings still baffles the nation. But that’s a story for another time!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Owen Farrell
Why will Owen Farrell miss the first two World Cup pool games?
Owen Farrell will miss the first two World Cup pool games because World Rugby successfully appealed against the decision to overturn his red card. The England captain’s four-game ban means he will miss the group matches against Argentina and Japan.
What was the initial decision regarding Farrell’s red card?
Initially, Owen Farrell was shown a yellow card, but the decision was upgraded to red after review by the new ‘bunker’ review system. Later, the red card was overturned by an independent judicial committee but was reinstated on appeal.
How did the appeal committee justify the decision to reinstate the red card?
The appeal committee stated that the tackle made by Farrell was “always illegal.” They also determined that the disciplinary committee should have considered Farrell’s attempt to wrap his opponent in the tackle, concluding that no mitigation could be made, and the decision to overturn the red card was an error.
When will Farrell be available to play again?
Owen Farrell will be available to play again on 23 September against Chile. He will also miss England’s final warm-up game against Fiji at Twickenham.
What other players are facing disciplinary action?
England’s number eight, Billy Vunipola, is also due to face the disciplinary panel for a red card in the defeat by Ireland following a high tackle, which may result in him being unavailable for the start of the competition.
What is World Rugby’s stance on player welfare and tackles?
World Rugby has stated that “player welfare is the number one priority.” In January, the RFU approved a reduction in tackle height for community games in England and tightened laws around high tackles in the professional game to further address player safety.