England vs All Blacks: Owen Farrell cleared to face New Zealand

  • 05/11/2018

England first-five Owen Farrell is free to face the All Blacks next weekend, after escaping punishment for a questionable tackle during his side's 12-11 victory against South Africa.

World Rugby citing commissioner Keith Brown decided the challenge did not warrant a red card, which would have triggered a citing that would have threatened Farrell’s involvement against New Zealand.

Farrell stopped Andre Esterhuizen in the 84th minute with a shoulder-led tackle to the chest that dislodged the ball from the South African centre.

Before blowing the final whistle, referee Angus Gardner consulted with the video official, but ruled that Farrell had made enough of an effort to wrap an arm round his opponent to make the tackle legal.

If Gardner had awarded a penalty, it would have been within range for Springboks first-five Handre Pollard to kick a penalty-goal to win the match.

The hit was described as a "good solid tackle" by England coach Eddie Jones and Farrell told reporters he tried to wrap his arms in the tackle.

"If you watch that full speed, he has a big run up on me, and we both bounce off each other and end up on the floor," he said, after the match.

"It's hard to wrap your arms around when you're both hitting each other at that much force, but I tried to."


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