Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell given two-week ban for dangerous tackle
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 28/04/16 9:47am
Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell will be available to play in the European Champions Cup final next month after being banned for only two weeks for a dangerous tackle on Wasps' Dan Robson in the semi-final.
The England international will miss the forthcoming Aviva Premiership matches against Newcastle and Worcester.
But Farrell will be free to play in European rugby's showpiece occasion against Racing 92 in Lyon on May 14. He will also be available to feature in England's three-Test summer tour of Australia.
Farrell was shown a yellow card during Saracens' 24-17 victory at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday for a dangerous high tackle on Wasps scrum-half Robson, and was subsequently cited.
"The Saracens outside-half, Owen Farrell, has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in London on Wednesday," a statement from European Professional Club Rugby read.
"Farrell was cited by the match Citing Commissioner, Stefano Marrama, for an alleged dangerous tackle on the Wasps scrum-half, Dan Robson, in the 51st minute of the Saracens v Wasps European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final at the Madejski Stadium in contravention of Law 10.4 (e).
"Under World Rugby's Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 10.4 (e), carries the following sanction entry points - Low End: 2 weeks. Mid-Range: 6 weeks. Top End: 10 to 52 weeks.
"A Disciplinary Committee consisting of Simon Thomas, Chairman, Pat Barriscale and Antony Davies heard evidence and submissions from Farrell, who did not accept that he committed an act of foul play, from Richard Smith QC, from England Defence Coach, Paul Gustard, and from Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall.
"The Committee also heard evidence and submissions from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.
In upholding the citing complaint, the Committee found that Farrell had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card. It determined that the offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected two weeks as the appropriate entry point.
"The Committee added one week to the sanction as a deterrent in line with World Rugby's memoranda regarding dangerous tackles, and then reduced the sanction by one week due to the player's clean disciplinary record, good character and excellent conduct at the hearing, before imposing a suspension of two weeks.
"Farrell is free to play on Monday, 9 May. Both the player and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision."
Meanwhile, Joe Marler has also been banned for two weeks for a kicking offence during Harlequins' European Challenge Cup win over Grenoble.
The England prop was cited for kicking the French side's hooker Arnaud Heguy on Friday in his first game back from a suspension for verbally abusing Wales' Samson Lee.