Slap on the wrist for 'guilty' Farrell
DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: England captain Owen Farrell has pleaded guilty to his dangerous high tackle charge.
Farrell has been banned for five games for a head-high tackle, the Rugby Football Union announced Tuesday.
The suspension was imposed after Farrell was shown a red card for the tackle on teenager Charlie Atkinson while playing for Saracens against Wasps in the English Premiership this past Saturday.
Farrell’s ban means he will now miss the reigning champions’ European Cup quarterfinal against Irish province Leinster on September 19.
Farrell’s latest incident of foul play has fuelled further debate about the general legality of the player’s tackling style, with former England flyhalf Alex Goode calling for a 10-week ban.
However, the online independent disciplinary panel that heard the Farrell suggested penalty was halved to five, leaving Farrell, who had accepted the dangerous tackle charge contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13, free to play again on October 5.
The independent panel comprised Mike Hamlin (chair) with Gareth Graham and Leon Lloyd and in handing down the suspension, 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,”
The 18-year-old Atkinson was knocked out and will not train for at last two weeks because of concussion protocols.
*Read the full statement below…