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Farrell was sent off after a bunker review.
Appeal Committee

World Rugby to appeal against overturning of red card from England captain Owen Farrell

Farrell was sent off for a high tackle following an off-pitch ‘bunker’ review of the incident during last weekend’s World Cup warm-up game.

WORLD RUGBY HAS confirmed it will appeal the decision by an independent disciplinary panel to overturn Owen Farrell’s red card against Wales, meaning the England captain’s involvement in the World Cup has been sprung back into doubt.

Farrell was sent off for a high tackle on Wales back row Taine Basham following an off-pitch ‘bunker’ review of the incident during last weekend’s World Cup warm-up game.

The English out-half faced an independent disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, when it was expected he would be banned, but the all-Australian committee agreed with Farrell that the tackle had not warranted a red card.

That was because the committee felt there had been mitigation involved, specifically that England hooker Jamie George had made contact with Basham, causing a “sudden and significant” change in direction just before Farrell’s right shoulder hit Basham’s head.

However, World Rugby has now officially confirmed that it will appeal the independent committee’s decision to overturn Farrell’s red card, with a new hearing to be convened as soon as possible.

“World Rugby fully supports the important role that an independent disciplinary process plays in upholding the integrity and values of the sport, particularly regarding foul play involving head contact,” reads an official World Rugby statement.

“Player welfare is the sport’s number one priority, and the Head Contact Process is central to that mission at the elite level of the sport.

“Having considered the full written decision, World Rugby considers an appeal to be warranted.

“In line with provisions set out under Regulation 17, an independent Appeal Committee will be appointed to determine the matter at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Further details regarding the hearing, including appointments and date, will be confirmed by Six Nations Rugby.”

It remains to be seen whether World Rugby’s appeal is successful. If that proves to be the case and Farrell’s red card is restored, he is facing a ban that could see him missing out on England’s World Cup campaign.

Given his three previous bans for high tackles and the fact that he didn’t accept he deserved a red card at the first hearing, Farrell seems unlikely to receive strong mitigation it comes to sanctioning him. A possible six-week entry point could see Farrell missing England’s final two warm-up games against Ireland and Fiji, as well as their four pool games.

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