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Rugby World Cup: Owen Farrell boos dismissed by England coach Richard Wigglesworth; fans ejected for fighting

Owen Farrell was booed ahead of England's World Cup quarter-final against Fiji before going on to score 20 points in 30-24 victory; two England supporters ejected from Stade Velodrome after scuffle in the stands, although no arrests made

England's Owen Farrell applauds after the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match between England and Fiji at the Stade de Marseille in Marseille, France, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Image: England's Owen Farrell was booed ahead of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Fiji on Sunday

Richard Wigglesworth says he "does not understand" the criticism Owen Farrell receives after the England captain was jeered at the World Cup win over Fiji on Sunday.

Farrell was booed when his name was read out by the PA announcer ahead of the quarter-final in Marseille, which England won 30-24 to set up a semi-final showdown with South Africa at the weekend.

It is not known whether England supporters barracked the 31-year-old, with fans from other nations also inside the Stade Velodrome.

Farrell kicked five penalties, a conversion and a drop goal after being preferred to George Ford at No 10.

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Action from Sunday's Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final clashes as South Africa defeated France in a powerhouse clash after England edged Fiji in thriller

"We are lucky to have him," England attack coach Wigglesworth said of Farrell.

"As ever, the tallest trees catch the most wind and he seems to catch a fair bit of it.

'Farrell is proven time and time again'

"He is proven time and time and time again and I don't understand why in England we feel the need to not celebrate that, not enjoy it just because he is not sat in front of media or social media lapping it up.

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"He is incredibly serious about his career, an incredibly proud Englishman who affects any team he is in. He was brilliant for us, as we knew he would be. That was the maddening part of any noise, we knew what was coming."

On England supporters, Wigglesworth added: "I heard an incredible atmosphere in the stadium, an amazing amount of support.

"The minority are always loudest - they are who you hear. The majority are turning up at the stadium, loving this team, supporting it."

England supporters ejected in Marseille

Two England supporters were ejected from the Stade Velodrome following a fight in the stands.

Footage on social media appeared to show one group of fans tussling with another dressed as Admiral Nelson with one supporter thrown down multiple rows of seats.

No arrests were made.

A statement from World Rugby read: "Following an isolated incident in the stadium, security acted swiftly to eject two fans from the stadium. No further complaints were filed."

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Sky Sports' Eleanor Roper reflects on England's dramatic victory over Fiji

Rugby World Cup - remaining fixtures

Friday October 20

SEMI-FINAL - Argentina vs New Zealand (8pm, Paris)

Saturday October 21

SEMI-FINAL - England vs South Africa (8pm, Paris)

Friday October 27

3rd Place Play-off - Semi-Final 1 Runner-Up vs Semi-Final 2 Runner-Up (8pm, Paris)

Saturday October 28

FINAL - Semi-Final 1 Winner vs Semi-Final 2 Winner (8pm, Paris)

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