ENGLAND captain Owen Farrell will miss the first two games of the World Cup after World Rugby won their appeal against the controversial decision to overturn his red card, it was announced on Tuesday.
Farrell will be suspended for the Pool D matches against Argentina and Japan, with this month’s warm-up games against Ireland and Fiji also included in the four-match ban.
World Rugby had appealed against the decision of a disciplinary panel to downgrade Farrell’s red card to a yellow after his high tackle on Wales’ Taine Basham at Twickenham on 12 August.
The original decision to downgrade Farrell’s punishment had triggered widespread criticism from across rugby.
Farrell has been banned for dangerous tackling several times in the past and has finally been sanctioned for the latest to scar the flyhalf’s career.
The Appeal Committee ruled that the disciplinary panel should have considered Farrell’s attempt to wrap his opponent in the tackle.
The committee subsequently determined that no mitigation could be made for the tackle, which they said was “always illegal”, and handed Farrell the four-game ban.
England’s opening World Cup game is against Argentina on 9 September in Marseille.
“In the original hearing the Disciplinary Committee should have considered the attempt of the player to wrap his opponent in the tackle. This point did not feature in the original decision,” a statement said.
“The failure to attempt to wrap was judged to be an important element of the Foul Play Review Officer’s (FPRO) report and had led to an upgrading of the referee’s yellow card to a red card during the match.” – SuperSport