He will miss a pretty big game
Owen Farrell received a ban at an RFU disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night. The England out-half must now contemplate missing a number of games for Saracens.
Farrell received a red card for a reckless high tackle on Wasps youngster Charlie Atkinson on Saturday. Farrell was shown his marching orders immediately and the speculation around whether he would miss his side’s clash with Leinster began in earnest.
Saracens will travel to Dublin next weekend to take on Leinster in the Champions Cup quarter-final on Saturday, 19th September.
The reigning champions’ goal of retaining their title has now taken a significant blow with the loss of Farrell as he has received a five-match ban.
Owen Farrell ban
Farrell accepted the charge of a dangerous tackle and after deliberation, the out-half was originally given a 10-match ban.
Independent panel chair Mike Hamlin said: “It was accepted by the RFU, the player and the Panel that the offending was reckless and not intentional. This was a totally unacceptable contact with the neck/head of Charlie Atkinson as a result of a reckless tackle which had the consequences of him being knocked unconscious and sustaining a concussion. This resulted in the Panel concluding that this was a top end offence with an entry point of ten matches. There were no aggravating features.”
"It's a really bad one… I can't defend that."
Owen Farrell was shown a red card against Wasps for this tackle on Charlie Atkinson…
Lawrence Dallaglio considers the implications for Saracens AND England. pic.twitter.com/xZuOfEZK9E
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) September 5, 2020
However, due to testimonials from Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall, England head coach Eddie Jones and the founders of a charity which Farrell is involved with, the ban was reduced to five games.
“Testimonials provided by Mark McCall, Eddie Jones and the founders of a charity with which the player works very closely were of the highest quality.
“The Panel concluded that applying the off-field mitigating factors, notwithstanding his suspension four and a half years ago, the player was entitled to a reduction from ten matches to five meaningful matches under RFU regulation 19.11.11. The player is free to play again on 5 October.”
Fans have taken to social media to vent their frustrations at Owen Farrell having his ban reduced.
@chjones9 whats the ooint of having Mark McCall and Eddie Jones giving character references for Owen Farrell?? Surely they have a vested interest in Owen getting a reduced ban?? Seems a pointless part of the process. Keep up the good work, enjoy listening!
— Munsterman (@seanwynne2) September 9, 2020
5 weeks is a joke!! When is @WorldRugby going to overhaul disciplinary procedures for rugby. Players are always going to continue to carry out dangerous tackles when they know that mitigating factors can half the ban!! #owenfarrell should have had a 10 week ban!!
— CatherineL (@CatherineL2288) September 9, 2020
A lot of talk on here about the Owen Farrell red card & his punishment. I believe that all people want to see is consistency and that the punishments fit the ‘crime’. Although I don’t think off pitch activities should be taken into consideration.
— James Doherty (@SeveDoc) September 9, 2020
A charity Owen Farrell works with spoke on his behalf and helped him escape with a 5-match ban for KO-ing Charlie Atkinson, who's 18.
Presumably it wasn't Save the Children.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) September 9, 2020
So Owen Farrell has ended somebody's season with dangerous and reckless play but its okay he gets to play again in a couple of weeks because the coach who made him England captain says hes a nice guy 👍 rugby is a joke
— Owain Evans (@OwainEvans39) September 9, 2020
Really surprising that Owen Farrell's ban leaves him available for international matches. Who'd have thought?
— Keith Webster (@keithwebs) September 9, 2020
5 weeks for Owen Farrell seems about right
Can see a lot of people giving out about the how they got there and that's right TBH. The need to give a ban of a length to reduce it by half straight away (because of reasons) is mental. If it's a 5 week offence it's a 5 week offence
— The 2nd Row (@the2ndRow) September 9, 2020
Owen Farrell only getting 5 weeks for clotheslining Charlie Atkinson’s head into another continent is laughable
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) September 9, 2020