Owen Farrell’s red card against Wales is overturned
Owen Farrell will lead England into the World Cup after his red card against Wales was not upheld by a disciplinary panel, making him free to play with immediate effect.
Farrell was sent off at Twickenham on Saturday when his yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham was upgraded to a red by the ‘Bunker’ review system.
But the hearing decided that a “late change in dynamics” due to Jamie George’s involvement in the contact area “brought about a sudden and significant change in direction from the ball carrier”.
Using this mitigation it was decided by the all-Australian panel that Farrell – who was expected to face a mid-range sanction of a six-week suspension – should have been hit with a sin-binning only.
Farrell appeared before the independent judicial committee via video link and admitted that his shoulder-led tackle to the head of Basham – who as a result failed an HIA – was illegal but worthy of 10 minutes in the sin-bin only.
After a review of the evidence, it was decided that the “foul play review officer was wrong, on the balance of probabilities, to upgrade the yellow card”.
In coming to its verdict, the panel said no criticism of the foul play review officer was being made given the time in which he had to review the incident and make a decision.
It means that Farrell, who was widely tipped to miss the World Cup opener against Argentina on September 9, is free to lead England against Ireland on Saturday.
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