?>
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Disciplinary panel 'manipulated' as Farrell's reduced ban raises serious questions

BY Grant Constable  ·  Wednesday Sep 9, 2020

The decision to reduce Owen Farrell’s ban from ten weeks to five based on various testimonials has not gone down very well. The Saracens fly-half was handed the ban on Tuesday evening by an independent panel for his red card offence in Saturday’s contest with Wasps.

ADVERTISEMENT

The panel deemed the high tackle on Charlie Atkinson “reckless and not intentional”, which led to the ban.

However, independent panel chair Mike Hamlin said: “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,” which resulted in the ban being reduced to five meaningful matches.

This has caused quite a stir on social media, with many disgruntled people feeling his charity work is irrelevant when it comes to dangerous play on a rugby field. In a collision that left Atkinson unconscious, which many have branded as potentially “career ending”, a mass of people feel any prior charity work should have no bearing on the decision.

The input of McCall and Jones, Farrell’s Saracens and England head coaches respectively, has also been questioned as it is in both of their interests to have the ban reduced as much as possible.

While a five-week ban has clearly displeased some, there is a sense that any ban length was going to be controversial. It does not take much trawling through Twitter to see that many people were gunning for far longer bans than were perhaps unnecessary and wildly outside World Rugby’s sanctions for foul play.

ADVERTISEMENT

But a ten week ban would not have caused as much of an outcry, as it is largely the 50 percent reduction that has incensed some, particularly when looking at the testimonials.

Farrell will be able to return from the 5th October, meaning he misses Saracens’ Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final with Leinster this month.

https://twitter.com/KevSportsLaw/status/1303593521597894657?s=20
https://twitter.com/MilenaZP_/status/1303592312245751811?s=20
https://twitter.com/TomJPritchard/status/1303474249227792395?s=20
https://twitter.com/WelshEcon/status/1303584998629478401?s=20
https://twitter.com/balatacarter/status/1303595401245798400?s=20
https://twitter.com/JoshuaMarchant/status/1303587096465207296?s=20

Farrell will miss Saracen's Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster

Meanwhile, 18-year-old replacement full-back Atkinson will not train for at last two weeks because of concussion protocols.

“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.

“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 10 matches to five meaningful matches under RFU regulation 19.11.11. The player is free to play again on 5 October.”

Related Articles

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face...

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal...

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies star Filipo Daugunu commites daylight robbery for superb try against Wales

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies score incredible end-to-end try under immense pressure from Wales

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Beauden Barrett sets up EXCEPTIONAL All Blacks try to take the lead against England

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Smith and Freeman combine to put England in front in Auckland

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Two incredible tries in the space of two minutes as All Blacks and England come out swinging

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    England enforcer's tour could be over following red card vs Japan

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Pitch invader melted in thunderous tackle

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath's Beno Obano shown red in the Premiership final

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    World Player of the Year BANNED heading into Paris Olympics following horror challenge during Madrid SVNS

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Debate surrounding ludicrous rugby league tackle leaves union fans baffled

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Magnificent Frawley drop goal seals Irish victory in Durban as Kolbe accused of 'diving'

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Northampton fans dismayed as 'dismal' new badge revealed

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Fans bemused as France make use of 'attacking' new rule for defensive purpsoes

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy end to France vs All Blacks match as TMO involved in final kick

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby 25 early access given shock release

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Wild changing room scenes as Toulouse begin their Top 14 victory celebrations

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Footage emerges of Handre Pollard before his famous RWC semi penalty

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    'I don't think I've found a front rower that is normal' - Joe Marler

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rassie Erasmus's underrated mental warfare ahead of Ireland series

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby brotherhood on full display between three South African Rugby legends

View All

Amateur

  • 79 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 79 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 103 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Ringrose in for Aki as Farrell names Ireland squad to face Springboks

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Match preview: All Blacks vs England

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Japanese club confirms three big name overseas signings

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Semi-finalists decided after torrential rain disrupts final round of pool matches

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Ireland to face most capped starting XV in Springbok history

View All