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'He's gotten away with this one' - Lions teammate addresses Farrell tackle

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions centre Brian O’Driscoll was asked about Owen Farrell’s most recent tackle controversy, saying it appeared that the Saracens flyhalf had ‘gotten away with it’.


The England star may yet face disciplinary action for a hit on Gloucester’s Jack Clement during an intense Gallagher Premiership match at Kingsholm on Friday night. Although play continued after the collision late in the second half, citing commissioner James Hall has another 24 hours to review the incident in which Farrell’s right shoulder made contact with Clement’s chin.

Farrell’s tackle technique has previously raised concerns, and if he is cited and suspended, he could miss England’s Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 4.

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What irked Gloucester fans was that just a few minutes after the indiscretion, Farrell would kick a drop-goal with the last play of the game to seal victory for the north Londoners. Farrell and his teammates were booed off the field at Kingsholm, with ‘Same old Saracens, always cheating’ ringing around the ground.

While O’Driscoll quickly pointed out on BT Sports that a flyhalf putting his body on the line was a particularly honourable feat, there was little doubt that Farrell’s connection with Clermont was illegal.

“Question marks around the technique?” O’Driscoll said. “And there’s previous with Owen Farrell as well, we’ve seen it in the past, and he doesn’t appear for changing!

“There’s not much of a wrap going on. It’s funny because there’s something hugely honourable about your outhalf and your leader wanting to put his body on the line like that but we’ve seen this time and time again.


“And he’s gotten away with this one. Whether it was a red card or a yellow card is subjective depending on your stance but it was definitely foul play of some sort.”

In 2020, Farrell received a five-game ban for a high tackle on Charlie Atkinson of Wasps. It will be an anxious 24 hours for Farrell and new England head coach Steve Borthwick.


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