Owen Farrell could still face a suspension after World Rugby confirmed it would appeal the lifting of the England captain’s red card.
Farrell’s dismissal against Wales at Twickenham last weekend was overturned by a disciplinary panel on Tuesday, re-opening half of the game for this weekend’s game against Ireland.
Farrell was found to have been in direct contact with Welsh backline leader Taine Basham during the second half of the World Cup warm-up, but the panel ruled the involvement of team-mate Jamie George resulted in a “late change of momentum”. , which subsided The incident was due to a yellow card offence.
However, World Rugby has now confirmed that it will appeal this decision and form a new disciplinary body.
“World Rugby today confirmed to Rugby Football Union and Six Nations Rugby that, following a careful review by the Independent Judiciary Committee, it will exercise its right to appeal Owen Farrell’s disciplinary decision full written decision received on August 16,” the governing body said in a statement.
“World Rugby fully supports the important role that an independent disciplinary process plays in upholding the integrity and values of the sport, particularly in relation to head contact foul play. Player welfare is the sport’s top priority and the head contact process is central to that mission at the sport’s elite level.
“Upon consideration of the full written decision, World Rugby believes an appeal is warranted.”
Further details of the hearing, including the dates of the panels and a date, will be confirmed by Six Nations Rugby, which runs the Summer Nations Series.
World Rugby’s appeal also included the full written verdict of Farrell’s first disciplinary hearing, which the Six Nations declined to release earlier in the week.
In it, the Independent Judiciary Committee (IJC) concludes that Foul Play Review Officer (FPRO), Brian MacNeice, “made an error in failing to account for the late change in dynamics due to.” [Jamie George]’s interactions in the contact area with [Taine Basham]“.
There is no guarantee that the appeal will be successful, and the decision will likely depend on whether Farrell attempted a legal challenge.
A player is only eligible for mitigation if he makes a genuine attempt to wrap his arms; The IJC ruled on Tuesday that Farrell had attempted a legal attack and allowed him to have the sanction reduced from a red card.
Steve Borthwick is expected to drop his captain from his starting XI when he meets Ireland in Dublin this weekend when he names his 23 players later on Thursday.
Should the decision be overturned and the red card reinstated, a possible ban is likely to see Farrell ruled out for at least part of England’s World Cup campaign, which begins on September 9 against Argentina.
Borthwick’s side meet Fiji in their final warm-up game next weekend.