England captain set to be clear for Six Nations opener despite ban

January 13, 2023 5:37 am

[Source: BBC]

England captain Owen Farrell is set to be available for their Six Nations opener with Scotland despite a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle.

His ban will be reduced to three weeks if he completes the World Rugby coaching intervention programme.

That would allow him to be picked by new England boss Steve Borthwick to face Scotland on 4 February.

Article continues after advertisement

Farrell was cited after making contact with Gloucester forward Jack Clement’s head with his shoulder on Friday.

The 31-year-old will definitely miss Saracens’ European games with Lyon and Edinburgh and the Premiership trip to Bristol.

It gives some relief to new England head coach Steve Borthwick, with fly-halves Marcus Smith and George Ford both out injured.

The offence – which Farrell admitted to – was deemed to be at the mid-range of dangerous tackles and attracted a six-week ban as a starting point.

He was given two weeks’ mitigation for his early admission of the charge and “exemplary” conduct during the hearing.

“The panel accepts that the player thought he had struck the chest of his opponent but in our view the footage confirms he was wrong,” Farrell’s disciplinary report said.

“We acknowledge there was no injury to the opposition player and have taken this into account in our decision.