Disciplinary panel makes a decision on Owen Farrell red card – and it’s a big one


England captain Owen Farrell has appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul in the Summer Nations Series match between England and Wales on Saturday 12th August 2023.

Farrell acknowledged that whilst he had committed an act of foul play, he denied that the act was worthy of a red card. After reviewing all the evidence, questioning the player in detail and hearing submissions from the player’s representative, the committee concluded that the Foul Play Review Officer was wrong, on the balance of probabilities, to upgrade the yellow card issued to the player to a red card.

The committee determined, when applying World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, that mitigation should be applied to the high degree of danger found by the Foul Play Review Officer. The committee found that a late change in dynamics due to Jamie George’s interaction in the contact area brought about a sudden and significant change in direction from the ball carrier.

In the committee’s opinion, this mitigation was sufficient to bring the player’s act of foul play below the red car threshold.

On that basis, the committee did not uphold the red card and Farrell is free to play again immediately.

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