Six Nations: Owen Farrell cleared to play in England’s opener against Scotland

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell is set to be available for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed. ban Credit: Alamy
Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell is set to be available for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed. ban Credit: Alamy

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell is set to be available for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland, the Rugby Football Union have announced.

The RFU have confirmed that Farrell’s ban for a dangerous tackle will have been deemed fully served before the tournament begins.

Farrell’s ban

The England playmaker faced a disciplinary hearing after being cited for a dangerous tackle on Gloucester flanker Jack Clement in the 75th minute of Saracens’ Premiership victory over the Cherry and Whites.

Farrell pleaded guilty and was handed a four-match suspension, which would have prevented him from running out at Twickenham in Steve Borthwick’s first match in charge.

However, Farrell’s ban could be reduced by a week by completing World Rugby’s Coaching Intervention Programme. Though he would not usually be available for the last Premiership fixture before the Six Nations starts, in this case, the match against Bristol on January 28, Farrell’s last week of the ban will be served then.

Generally, any player in the Six Nations squad does not feature for their club the weekend before the competition kicks off.

Free to face Scotland

As such, the disciplinary panel could have revised what constitutes the ‘meaningful’ fixtures which make up the ban and therefore included the Scotland game.

Nevertheless, Farrell – who told the disciplinary panel that he would take the tackle technique coaching course – will be back with Saracens to play against Bristol, so then clearing him to feature for England in the Calcutta Cup clash.

On Saturday, the RFU confirmed that the 31-year-old fly-half would be available for selection against the Bears.

A statement from the governing body read: “The RFU has written to Saracens confirming the availability of Owen Farrell for the Saracens game against Bristol Bears on January 28.

“After a three-week ban and completing the World Rugby Coaching Intervention Programme, Farrell would be available for selection for England v Scotland on Saturday, February 4 2023.”

McCall defends Farell

Saracens‘ boss Mark McCall defended his fly-half after his side’s 48-28 win over Lyon on Saturday.

“Everyone knows he has been such a brilliant player; I would say the best player in England over the last 10 years and what a great leader he has been for club and country,” McCall said. “You won’t be surprised to hear that Owen is one of those players who works at his craft in all aspects of his game, and this is something that he really wants to get better at, and he works religiously with our defence coach every week.“The margins are small with that tackle and, in my opinion, it was at the very low end of that kind of tackle, so I think the outcry has been a bit over the top to be honest.”

READ MORE: Saracens boss Mark McCall backs Elliot Daly for Test recall

The article Six Nations: Owen Farrell cleared to play in England’s opener against Scotland appeared first on Planetrugby.com.