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'Jealousy is not pleasant': Former England international's message for fans after Farrell ban

By Kim Ekin
Owen Farrell chats to Karl Dickson - PA

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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 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.

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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