England captain Owen Farrell has been suspended for four matches – meaning he will miss the first two games of the Rugby World Cup.
He had been given a red card for a tackle deemed dangerous during a Wales game earlier this month – but this was downgraded to yellow.
Farrell’s shoulder had struck the head of loose-forward Taine Basham during England’s 19-17 warm-up win on 12 August.
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World Rugby subsequently appealed against the downgrade, and an independent disciplinary hearing has now upheld the red card.
Basham failed a head injury assessment after the controversial tackle – and the decision that it was only a sin-binning offence led to a furious outcry from pundits and player welfare advocates.
The captain could have faced a six-match ban, but it was reduced to four because of his “acceptance of foul play, clear demonstration of remorse and his good character”.
Farrell had voluntarily stepped down from England’s game against Ireland last Saturday, meaning this match counts towards the punishment.
He will also miss an upcoming warm
…. to be continued
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