Former Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll has urged England’s Owen Farrell to improve his tackling technique following a number of controversial incidents that could have seen the out-half yellow carded.
Farrell was criticised for his no-arms tackle on South Africa’s André Esterhuizen during England’s narrow victory over the Springboks at the beginning of the November Internationals.
The challenge went unpunished, however many feel it should have warranted a least a penalty which would have given Rassie Erasmus’ side a kick at goal and opportunity to topple the narrow lead that England had at the time.
The Saracens outhalf came under scrutiny once again in England’s 37-18 victory over Australia after his apparent shoulder charge saw Wallaby lock Izack Rodda halted just short of the try line.
On both occasions, Farrell escaped punishment but many in the rugby world have criticised the 27-year old for his robust tackling technique.
Speaking at the Dubai Rugby Sevens, former Leinster and Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll urged Farrell to use the “two wake-up-calls” as motivation for improving his tackling technique.
“Owen has had two wake-up calls and maybe he will look at improving his technique but you won’t see any of the ferocity taken out of the collisions.
“Maybe Eddie Jones will have a quiet word with Owen. He wants to show he is a good defender and he made some illegal challenges in the November Tests and ran the risk of going to the bin twice.”
Last week, referee Angus Gardner who was in charge of England’s clash with South Africa and failed to punish Farrell admitted to Sky Sports that in hindsight he had gotten the decision wrong.
“I think in hindsight now, having discussed it with other referees and we’ve had some camps, mini-camps post that, I think the general consensus would be that a penalty was probably the outcome there that should have been given.”
“I think we need to see a wrap with both arms and with hindsight, although he got pinned, there wasn’t a big enough wrap with both arms really”.