There is widespread anger among the rugby community after it was announced that Owen Farrell will serve a three match ban for an incident against Gloucester last Friday, and therefore will be available for the start of the Six Nations in early February.
On paper it is a four match ban, but will be reduced to three should Farrell complete World Rugby coaching intervention programme, which as been nicknamed 'tackle school' by some.
Many feel that the 'tackle school' ban reduction is a cop-out from World Rugby and the RFU, particularly given Farrell's history of high tackles.
Further denting the credibility of the organisations is the fact that England squad players - which Farrell is expected to be one of - would not be playing in the third match of the ban on 28 January against Bristol Bears.
Promises have been made by rugby's governing bodies in relation to making the game safer, but when they fail to make a sufficient example out of one of the world's leading players, who has a history of dangerous play, it inevitably leads to people questioning the validity of the ban.
Anger At Owen Farrell Ban
Saying "Tackle School" is way better than saying "World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme".
— The Loose Head (@TheLooseH) January 11, 2023
Rugby's disciplinary process is a farce, chapter 10,344
— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) January 11, 2023
Before Owen Farrell's potential ban is announced...
Sarries' game v Bristol on 28th should not be included. Anyone in the England squad that weekend won't be playing domestically, but it will come under any ban - that loopholes been exploited far too many times. Reform it now.
— Andrew Forde (@andrewfrugby) January 11, 2023
I can only assume that Owen Farrell’s legal team are introducing the atrocities of Margaret of Anjou at the Battle of Bosworth Field as mitigatory factors.
— James While (@jameswhile) January 11, 2023
When asking why Owen Farrell wasn’t red carded, you simply have to remember that he’s the England captain and the six nations is in less than a month.
— Alex (@Atholl1844) January 6, 2023
A statement from the RFU said the following: “The case of Owen Farrell, Saracens, was heard last night by an independent disciplinary panel chaired by Philip Evans with Becky Essex and Mitch Read.
“Farrell was cited following the game against Gloucester Rugby on Friday, January 6, for dangerous tackling, contrary to World Rugby law 9.13.
“Farrell accepted foul play but challenged that it met the red card threshold. However, the panel upheld the charge and Farrell received a four-match ban. This will be reduced to a three-week ban if the player completes the World Rugby coaching intervention programme.
“Farrell will miss the following games: 14/01 vs Lyon, 22/01 vs Edinburgh, 28/01 vs Bristol, 19/02 vs Leicester Tigers.”