'Jealousy is not pleasant': Former England international's message for fans after Farrell ban
Owen Farrell’s ban has divided opinion with Twitter in a furore over the England captain’s reduced sentence which will see him able to suit up for the Six Nations.
After being cited for a tackle in Saracens win over Gloucester, in which Farrell kicked the winning drop goal, the flyhalf was potentially looking at a lengthy suspension.
The committee handed Farrell a four-match suspension which can be reduced to three games should he attend a tackling intervention programme.
The sentence did not go down with fans on Twitter well, leading to former England international Will Carling to call for calm.
Carling, who was England’s youngest ever captain at age 22, called on fans to ‘move on’ and put the emotional backlash down to jealousy. He went on to write:
“The reaction on here to Owen Farrell is sad. Jealousy is not pleasant! If he wasn’t such a good, successful player & England captain, the tone would be different.
“Was not in the same league as a player, but remember the comments/emotion directed at an England captain! Smile! Move on.”
The reaction on here to @owen_faz is sad. Jealousy is not pleasant! If he wasn’t such a good, successful player & England captain, the tone would be different. Was not in same league as a player, but remember the comments/ emotion directed at an England captain! Smile! Move on 🌹
— Will Carling (@willcarling) January 11, 2023
Media pundits were skeptical that the tackling school initiative for Owen Farrell will fail to change his technique so late in his career.
Irish rugby scribe Ruaidhri O’Connor called it ‘ridiculous’ will New Zealand’s pundit Jamie Wall made a point that the former players coaching international teams are part of the problem.
The idea that professional rugby players who train under elite coaches every day from a young age and who are good enough to be selected for top level elite matches can get a ban reduced by a week because they’re going to tackle school is so ridiculous
— Rúaidhrí O’Connor (@RuaidhriOC) January 11, 2023
The very existence of the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme kinda points to the real issue around player safety: the way they are being coached in the first place.
— Jamie Wall (@JamieWall2) January 11, 2023
Debate on radio talking about Farrell doing “rugby league tackles” is total rubbish. RL has equally tough measure for illegal tackles, and Farrell in any case is an outstanding defender and defensive organiser in union. The hunting dogs sare till barking
— Stephen Jones (@stephenjones9) January 11, 2023
Far too many loopholes in rugby's disciplinary process. No point handing out a six-week ban, and reducing it four and then three, with various caveats. Chopping off two weeks for good behaviour etc. is just antiquated nonsense. Far too complicated for its own good.
— Tom Hamilton (@tomhamiltonespn) January 11, 2023
The polarising decision had plenty of debate on both sides with equal amounts of fans not all that bothered by the tackle and some believing the sanction was too light.
Plenty of debate around Owen Farrell’s ban today.ADVERTISEMENT
For us it’s not the sanction (seems commensurate), nor the tackle school (seems eminently sensible) that particularly troubles us.
It’s the not accepting your tackle warranted a red.
Can’t fix a fault you don’t acknowledge.
— Progressive Rugby (@ProgressiveRug) January 11, 2023
Worth noting Owen Farrell has played 377 matches, all in front of a citing officer, ref and TMO.
In that time he’s made around approx 4000 to 5000 tackles, been red carded once and cited twice- that means his tackle illegality rate is approximately 0.0002%
— James While (@jameswhile) January 11, 2023
Don’t really understand the furore over Farrell’s ban?
Everyone’s been playing silly buggers with fixtures for ages, and it doesn’t seem overly lenient otherwise.
Anyway, I’ve done two speed awareness courses, so I can’t begrudge him going to tackle school at the age of 31.
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) 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
Wishing Owen Farrell the best of luck at tackle school pic.twitter.com/pOgDeGPNQT
— Graham Love (@glove931) January 11, 2023
An official statement by the judicial committee believed that the Farrell offence was in the mid-range of seriousness and in applying mitigation to the six-week entry point, it concluded:
“Given the player’s previous offending he is not eligible to receive the 50 per cent reduction for mitigation which would otherwise be available to him.
“However, given the player’s timely acknowledgment of his offending and considering his behaviour following the incident, during the hearing and leading up to the hearing, sitting alongside other mitigation available to him the panel does feel able to reduce the sanction by a period of two weeks.”
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