It feels like the whole world has been talking about Owen Farrell’s red card and subsequent disciplinary proceedings ever since his sending-off on Saturday.
Yes, you read that right. It was only 6 days ago that it happened, although it feels like it’s been going on for weeks.
The England captain has suddenly become the poster boy for controversy and discussion between avid fans, occasional fans, and non-fans alike.
Even those who don’t watch our beautiful game have been getting in on the ‘Farrell Forecast’, with one Twitter user explaining that their friend, in an attempt to start a rugby conversation, asked what their thoughts on ‘Colin’ Farrell’s ban were.
The intense discussions around ‘Was it a red or a yellow’ has been thawed at so much length that World Rugby are now trending on Twitter alongside Robert De Niro and Cheryl Cole – a sentence that we never thought we would write.
Well, with all the excitement and strong opinions surrounding the issues, our friends at Wales Online have brought in the enforcer for such an occasion.
The enforcer, of course, being the the rule-enforcer, Nigel ‘This is not soccer’ Owens.
In a brilliant opinion piece for the Welsh publication, Owens detailed the ins and outs of the tackle and all circumstances surrounding it.
Talking about the man in question, Owens said: “Owen Farrell is a great player who I have a huge amount of respect for. But he has a history of making this kind of tackle, he’s been punished before and perhaps got away with a couple too. So there’s a lot of emotion around the player, but as a referee we’ve got to strip that away and look at the facts.”
The facts were: “Do we have foul play? Yes, we do. Do we have contact with the head? Yes, we do. Do we have a high degree of danger? Yes, we certainly do. Do we have mitigation? In my view, no we don’t. I don’t think there was any late change from Basham which Farrell could not adjust to, he was the only player contributing to the action of the tackle. And when a player’s action is always illegal, then mitigation plays no part in the process.”
With this in mind, Owens had only one decision in mind: “For me, it’s a red card and whatever the judicial outcome may be, it still has to be a red card.”
Read the full fascinating article here.