Owen Farrell sends conspiracy theorists wild by avoiding red on technicality
England captain Owen Farrell and his wayward right shoulder could be in trouble this week, which could put his involvement in the Heineken Champions Cup and even the Six Nations in doubt.
The moment in question came late on against Gloucester on Friday at Kinsgholm, where his shoulder very clearly made contact with the chin of flanker Jack Clement at the edge of a ruck. On top of that, there was almost no effort to wrap his arms, meaning he could be in a lot of trouble this week. The only slight mitigating factor could be that Clement’s body position was slightly lower than usual as he was carrying from the base of a ruck, but that would be clutching at straws.
Despite this tackle being picked up by the TMO during the match, referee Karl Dickson said that he could not review it because it was not during the same passage of play. This has sent conspiracy theorists wild online, who believe that Farrell is protected by the officials.
To make matters even worse for Gloucester, Farrell did not only remain on the pitch, but actually kicked the match winning drop goal in the final play of the game to give the visitors a 19-16 win. This was one of the very few times that Farrell actually got a kick on target all evening, in what were torrid conditions. The stick that he received from the crowd after consecutive missed kicks at goal may have actually got under his skin and may have been a contributing factor to why he made such an illegal tackle.
If he is cited, he would likely miss Saracens’ next two European fixtures against Lyon and Edinburgh in the coming weeks, and could even miss the beginning of the Six Nations, where England begin their campaign against Scotland at Twickenham.
Take a look at the tackle:
⚠️ INJURY TIME DROP GOAL WINNER ⚠️
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 6, 2023