Owen Farrell handed five-week ban for high tackle

Owen Farrell was red-carded during the game against Wasps
Owen Farrell was red-carded during the game against Wasps

England captain and Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell has been handed a five-week ban following his red-card incident during the recently concluded Gallagher Premiership game against Wasps.

Farrell was sent-off in the 61st minute for a high tackle on Charlie Atkinson, who left the field and eventually will miss at least two weeks of action following concussion protocols.

The 28-year-old appeared before a three-man disciplinary panel comprising of Mike Hamlin (chair) with Gareth Graham and Leon Lloyd on Tuesday and was proved guilty of the charges. He was initially handed a 10-week ban that was reduced by 50% taking into account the mitigating factors.

"It was accepted by the RFU, the player and the Panel that the offending was reckless and not intentional," said panel chair Mike Hamlin.

"This was a totally unacceptable contact with the neck/head of Charlie Atkinson as a result of a reckless tackle which had the consequences of him being knocked unconscious and sustaining a concussion.

"This resulted in the panel concluding that this was a top end offence with an entry point of ten matches. There were no aggravating features.

"Testimonials provided by Mark McCall, Eddie Jones and the founders of a charity with which the player works very closely were of the highest quality.

"The panel concluded that applying the off-field mitigating factors, notwithstanding his suspension four and a half years ago, the player was entitled to a reduction from 10 matches to five meaningful matches under RFU regulation 19.11.11. The player is free to play again on October 5."

As a result, Farrell will miss Saracens' Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster at Aviva Stadium and also the semi-final if Mark McCall's men managed to beat the Irish side on 19th September.

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