England out-half Owen Farrell has expressed his remorse for the dangerous tackle on Charlie Atkinson that left the Wasps teenager unconscious during a Gallagher Premiership match last month at Saracens.  

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Farrell will make his first appearance since his high challenge on Atkinson on September 5 when he leads England in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy.

The 29-year-old fly-half was shown a red card and banned for five matches, forcing him to miss the knockout phase of Saracens’ Champions Cup campaign which began with a quarter-final win over Leinster and ended in agonising semi-final defeat at Racing 92.

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Owen Farrell joins Eddie Jones at England’s pre-Italy media conference

Speaking to media for the first time since his early September sending-off and subsequent ban, Farrell said: “No-one wants to be involved in an incident like. Not for it to end up the way it did – a player getting injured and myself getting sent off.

“There was no real intent to do that. That was never what I was trying to do, but at the same time that is what happened and you have a good look at yourself when that happens.

“In terms of technique, yeah, I want to get better. More than anything I’m excited to play,” he continued after England coach Eddie Jones gave him a vote of confidence to continue as captain and earn his 84th Test cap for his country in Rome.   

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I have been working on everything, not just tackling technique, which I would work on anyway. The main thing is I can’t wait to get out on the field and get playing.

“I am doing everything I can to make sure I am in the best place I possibly can be for Italy. I am in a position now where I can’t wait to play and I am looking forward to it.”

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