Owen Farrell free to face All Blacks

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Owen Farrell goes in on Andre Esterhuizen during Saturday's Test at Twickenham - PA
Owen Farrell goes in on Andre Esterhuizen during Saturday's Test at Twickenham - PA

England's anxious wait over whether Owen Farrell would face a citing charge over his 'no-arms' tackle on Andre Esterhuizen during their match with South Africa was resolved on Sunday evening after World Rugby decided no action was needed.

England got their autumn series off to a winning start at Twickenham with a hard-fought 12-11 victory over South Africa, but the main talking point was Farrell's 'no-arms' tackle on Esterhuizen in the dying seconds of the game.

Trailing by a point with the clock ticking over 80 minutes, the Springboks launched one last attack which was only stopped by a crunching tackle by Farrell on Esterhuizen that resulted in an England turn-over.

READ MORE: Farrell punishes wasteful Springboks

READ MORE: Owen Farrell sweats over tackle

Once England had kicked the ball out of play, referee Angus Gardner went upstairs to the TMO to check the Farrell-Esterhuizen collision, and England fans inside Twickenham held their collective breath to see what Gardner, his touch judges and the TMO would decide on considered viewing of all the angles.

If South Africa had been awarded a penalty, they would have had a chance to kick for victory from the tightest of angles. As it was, the officials decided that the tackle was hard but fair and England celebrated a morale-boosting win.

Following the match a number of observers had predicted citing commissioner, Keith Brown of New Zealand, would deem the tackle illegal.

However, Brown and the world governing body decided against taking any action against Farrell, or indeed any player in the three Quilter Internationals that took place on Saturday.

England will next play world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

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