Owen Farrell verdict: England captain banned - Ruck

Owen Farrell verdict: England captain banned

The Owen Farrell verdict has finally been announced with the England captain this time being banned.

Farrell’s yellow card was upgraded to red by the new ‘bunker’ review system after a high tackle.

A disciplinary panel reviewing the incident last Tuesday found mitigating factors and overturned the dismissal.

However, World Rugby appealed against the decision, saying “player welfare is the number one priority”.

The new hearing in took place today, starting at 07:30am, in front of a three-person independent judicial committee with the fly-half attending via video conference.

Scroll down for the full Owen Farrell verdict.

Owen Farrell verdict

Following an initial Disciplinary Committee hearing for England number 10 Owen Farrell, who received a red card during the Summer Nations Series match between England and Wales on Saturday 12th August, World Rugby lodged a formal appeal against the Committees’ decision to downgrade the red card to a yellow, appealing for the red card to be upheld.  

The Appeal Committee met on Tuesday 22nd August and unanimously determined that in the original hearing the Disciplinary Committee should have considered the attempt of the player to wrap his opponent in the tackle. This point did not feature in the original decision.

The failure to attempt to wrap was judged to be an important element of the Foul Play Review Officer’s (FPRO) report and had led to an upgrading of the referee’s yellow card to a red card during the match.

As this element did not feature in the original decision, the Appeal Committee decided it was in the interests of justice to hear the case afresh on that key point alone, which included hearing from the player.

Following the review by the Appeal Committee of this key element, it was determined that the FPRO was correct in his decision leading to the red card. The Appeal Committee subsequently determined that the tackle was ‘always illegal’.

When applying the terms of World Rugby’s Head Contact Process, no mitigation can be applied to a tackle that is ‘always illegal’.

The Appeal Committee therefore considered that the Disciplinary Committee’s decision to downgrade the red card to a yellow card had been manifestly wrong, which led to the Disciplinary Committee’s decision being overturned, the appeal brought by World Rugby being allowed, and the red card upheld.

In considering sanction, the Committee applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head (six-matches). Taking all considerations into account, including the player’s acceptance of foul play, clear demonstration of remorse and his good character, the Committee agreed a four-match suspension.

The Appeal Committee accepted submissions on behalf of the player that the Ireland v England match on 19 August 2023, for which the player was voluntarily stood down would be included as part of the sanction.  Therefore, the suspension applies to the following matches:  

  • Ireland v England             19 August 2023
  • England v Fiji                    26 August 2023
  • England v Argentina          9 September 2023
  • England v Japan               17 September 2023


Five most hated rugby players, named and ranked:

We have curated a compilation of individuals who, through their actions on and off the field, have acquired a regrettable reputation within the game. Their notoriety extends beyond specific fan bases or clubs; it encompasses the entire rugby community.

#5. Dan Biggar (Wales)

Amusingly, Biggar epitomizes the kind of player who manages to invoke strong dislike until he becomes a part of your own team.

Over the course of his career, this fly-half has exhibited a growing penchant for passionately berating referees.

This behavior has reached such heights that Glove39, a renowned online personality and unwavering fan of Scotland, cleverly crafted a video titled ‘birdman.’

In this video, Glove39 humorously mimicked Biggar’s habitual arm-raising expression of frustration directed at officials.