As Owen Farrell is Suspended , it has led to England excluding him from their first two World Cup matches due to the decision to overturn the rescinded red card. This setback has dealt a severe blow to England’s struggling campaign.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that even though Owen Farrell is Suspended , the ban has been applied retroactively. Taking into account last week’s defeat by Ireland, even though Farrell might have taken part in Dublin.
The initial rescission of Farrell’s red card last week prompted strong criticism, particularly from the player welfare group Progressive Rugby, which accused the decision of undermining the sport’s commitment to on-field safety. In response to World Rugby’s appeal against that ruling, the disciplinary panel unanimously reinstated the sending-off during Tuesday’s hearing.
The absence of Farrell in England’s challenging pool-stage matches represents a significant setback for Steve Borthwick, whose team has suffered four losses in their last five matches, impacting World Cup prospects. Borthwick openly disagreed with World Rugby’s decision to appeal the initial verdict and raised questions about the need for additional scrutiny in a matter he believed had already reached a resolution.
Further complications may emerge as Borthwick awaits the outcome of Billy Vunipola’s disciplinary hearing following the player’s red card against Ireland.
Borthwick in Significant Decision-Making Position
As Farrell’s absence in the opening matches puts Borthwick in a significant decision-making position, the head coach had indicated that he would only consider squad changes once the hearing results became known.
In Farrell’s absence, experts expect Courtney Lawes to assume the role of England’s leader. This positions George Ford as a potential candidate for the No. 10 position. It is alongside Marcus Smith as another option.
The focus of the second disciplinary hearing concerning Farrell revolved around whether his tackle on Wales’ Taine Basham was “always illegal.”
After initially getting a yellow card, officials subsequently issued Farrell a red card. This is through the new bunker review system. The panel in the second hearing emphasized that the first panel had overlooked Farrell’s failure to wrap his arms during the tackle, resulting in their determination that his actions were “always illegal.” Consequently, any consideration of mitigation related to Jamie George’s push on Basham, which had prompted the initial red card rescission, became irrelevant.