Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

'We need people like him': Gatland's take on Owen Farrell's potential ban after red card

By Ben Smith
Warren Gatland, Head Coach of Wales, looks on prior to the Summer International match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on August 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said the right decision was made on Owen Farrell’s red card but hoped that England’s captain wouldn’t spend too long on the sidelines.


Farrell faces the possibility of missing the entire pool stages of the Rugby World Cup if the six-week mid entry point is deemed necessary, which is for foul play resulting in head/neck contact.

His shot on Wales flanker Taine Basham was deemed to be shoulder to the head with “a high degree of danger” and “no mitigation” by the bunker.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Gatland, who has coached Farrell on many occasions as part of the British & Irish Lions, said the game ‘needs’ Farrell and hoped that he would not get a lengthy sentence.

“I thought it was the right decision on the day,” Gatland said post-match.

“Hopefully for Owen’s sake he doesn’t get too long a ban because I think we need people like him in the game.

“He’ll be a big loss for England if he does pick up a lengthy ban but given [his] previous I’m not too sure what’s going to happen, but fingers crossed it’s not too bad for him.”

Points Flow Chart

England win +2
Time in lead
Mins in lead
% Of Game In Lead
Possession Last 10 min
Points Last 10 min

However, the Kiwi coach didn’t know what would be a suitable sentence for him but asked for consistency from the judiciary.


“I don’t know. We’ve seen so much inconsistency already in the last few weeks,” Gatland said.

“I look back with the Lions where Dylan Hartley gets an 11-week ban for abusing the referee, so with everything all we are looking for is consistency.”

Farrell’s four-week ban in February for a similar tackle was reduced to two weeks after completing tackle school and good conduct.

England head coach Steve Borthwick refused to speculate on what kind of sentence would be handed out, and reiterated that he would wait until the facts are known and the disciplinary procedure plays out.


“The key word there is if (Farrell will be banned) and what we will do is we will wait and see and deal with facts as I know you would expect me to,” he said.

“Deal with the facts of the situation. We will find the facts out very soon and we will deal with them.”




Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Al 339 days ago

Gatland knows England are rubbish with Farrell in the side. That's why he wants Farrell to get a couple weeks ban only!

Fils 339 days ago

You're dreaming thinking the judiciary going to give Farrel six-week mid entry point. He will get one week max.

Michael Röbbins (academic and writer extraordinair 340 days ago

Gats taking the "high road" but one can only delay the devil for so long: Farrell's had this coming for about a decade, but since World Rugby higher ups are about as corrupt as the Trump administration, Farrell will only get a 3-4 game ban, thus only missing a few meaningless "warm up" matches, although missing the Argentina match could be righteous.

David 340 days ago

well warrren get on google he has had lots of cards both red and yelllow for a while now

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

14 Go to comments
FEATURE Paris Olympics: Men's rugby sevens team-by-team guide Paris Olympics: Men's rugby sevens team-by-team guide