How referee gave Owen Farrell 'tackle lessons'
SPOTLIGHT: Nigel Owens had revealed details of conversations he has had with Owen Farrell’s about the England skipper’s controversial tackle technique.
Farrell’s robust style in the collision has drawn the ire of numerous rugby fans who feel the Saracens’ player isn’t usually legal in the tackle.
Now, veteran Welsh referee Owens has given an insight on WalesOnline into the type of pep talk he has had with a player regularly criticised for not properly wrapping his arms. Owens was present at a live recording of The Welsh Rugby Podcast at Cilfynydd RFC when specifically asked about Farrell’s divisive approach to tackling.
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“I have had a good chat with Owen a couple of times before games discussing this,” explained Owens whose biggest concern is safety and the need for players to make tackles lower and legal.
“He says to me: ‘Well, how am I supposed to tackle?’ Well, not like that. You need to wrap the arms and he explained that he was trying to get down, to get the power in and dislodge the ball and stuff like that.
“I have said to him: ‘I appreciate what you are trying to do but if you get it wrong you’re going to be in trouble’. When your shoulder hits, your arms (must) wrap instantly after.”
Asked what constitutes a legal tackle, Owens continued: “What referees will look at is, if you’re going to make a tackle and your arm is down to your side, pointing down or backwards, then there is no way you are making a legal tackle.
“If you hit with the shoulder and your arm is back, that is an illegal tackle. If you hit with the shoulder and your arm is to the side and then wraps, that is the process of making a legal tackle. That is the trigger for the referees.”
Sources: WalesOnline & RugbyPass