What Owen Farrell’s red card means for his Rugby World Cup chances

Not good.

England captain Owen Farrell landed himself in trouble yesterday following his latest no-arms hit on Wales flanker Taine Basham.

Farrell landed a dangerous tackle on Bashman just after the hour mark, connecting flush on the chin with his shoulder, resulting in an immediate red card while the ‘bunker system’ protocols were followed.

This meant the TMO had 10 mins to decide on whether or not to upgrade his yellow card to a red, and upon reviewing the incident, Farrell was red-carded. But what does this mean for his Rugby World Cup chances?

Farrell will attend an independent disciplinary hearing on Tuesday for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.13 – a player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

If the card is upheld, and it likely will be, the entry-level sanction for the challenge would be a six-week ban. This would rule him out of England’s two remaining Summer Nations Series fixtures against Ireland and Fiji, as well as all four of England’s Rugby World Cup pool matches against Argentina, Japan, Chile, and Samoa.

Farrell may have his ban reduced in mitigation, but he will be unable to get the full 50% due to his disciplinary record as he was banned for four games back in January. The “coaching intervention” programme will also be unavailable to him as he completed this back in January.

So all in all, Farrell will likely end up with either the full six weeks or have it reduced to five weeks (maybe four!) due to some kind of mitigation like “remorse” etc.

The England captain will very likely miss all, if not most, of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup. Not exactly ideal, but he did bring this upon himself.

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