England captain Owen Farrell could be cited for high tackle in Saracens win

England captain Owen Farrell faces an anxious wait to discover if he is cited for a shoulder-led high challenge during Saracens’ 19-16 Gallagher Premiership victory over Gloucester.

The Saracens fly-half’s hit on Gloucester replacement Jack Clement came near the end of an intense encounter at Kingsholm, before he landed a long-range drop-goal with the game’s final kick to edge his team home.

He escaped sanction on the pitch, with play carrying on, but citing commissioner James Hall could take a different view over the next 24-48 hours after Farrell’s right shoulder made contact with Clement’s chin.

Owen Farrell kicked Saracens to victory
Owen Farrell kicked Saracens to victory (Nick Potts/PA)

England kick off their Guinness Six Nations campaign against Scotland on February 4, and Farrell, whose tackle technique has often been questioned in the past, could run a risk of missing that match if he is cited and suspended.

He was banned for five games in 2020 following a high tackle on Wasps player Charlie Atkinson.

England boss Steve Borthwick was among a 13,400 crowd, and the new head coach will also be keeping a keen eye on any developments.

Asked about the incident, Saracens rugby director Mark McCall said: “I was pitch-side for the last three or four minutes, so I haven’t seen it yet.

Owen Farrell and Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees at full-time
Owen Farrell and Gloucester’s Billy Twelvetrees at full-time (Nick Potts/PA)

“I have heard there is a potential high tackle that I will have to look at.”

Gloucester head coach George Skivington added: “It is really tricky to comment on it. I don’t want to end up in a judiciary myself, so I have to keep shtum.

“I will just say that consistency across games will be good.”

Farrell had endured a miserable night with his goalkicking, missing four shots at goal from six attempts, including three from around Gloucester’s 22-metre line.

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But he came up trumps when it mattered as Saracens moved 14 points clear at the Premiership summit.

McCall said: “It is a tough place to come. We competed and scrapped for everything throughout the match.

“We showed a lot of resilience at key times. There were some great bits of defence and some great interventions by individuals.

“I can’t remember the last time Owen dropped a goal for us. It was a tough game, and we came out the right side of it.”

Max Malins scores Saracens' first try
Max Malins scores Saracens’ first try (Nick Potts/PA)

Farrell booted two penalties, while wing Max Malins and scrum-half Ivan van Zyl scored tries, yet his opposite number Santiago Carreras enjoyed an 80 per cent success rate, landing three penalties and a conversion of wing Ollie Thorley’s first-half try.

Gloucester remain in the top-four after suffering a last-gasp defeat against Saracens for the second time this season, having lost 41-39 against the title favourites in September when Farrell kicked a winning conversion.

Skivington added: “I thought the boys played really well. I thought the kicking game and pressure game was outstanding, and we put ourselves in a position to win the game.

“We’ve tried to push our game on a bit. The players’ application was outstanding.

“It was a good ding-dong. If we had nicked it at the end, it would have been a fair outcome as much as them nicking it. A draw would probably have been a fair outcome.”