World Rugby to appeal disciplinary decision on Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell's red card was overturned by an independent judicial committee
Owen Farrell's red card was overturned by an independent judicial committee

World Rugby will appeal against the decision to overturn the red card given to Owen Farrell against Wales which could see the England captain miss the start of the World Cup.

Farrell was initially yellow carded during the recently concluded warm-up game against Wales for a high tackle on Wales flanker Taine Basham which was later upgraded to a red card following the bunker review system.

Just as the Saracens fly-half was expected to miss the start of the tournament, the independent judicial committee in a video hearing on Tuesday ruled that the 31-year-old's action was only worthy of a yellow card clearing him of any suspension.

Nevertheless, World Rugby has now decided to appeal against the decision to overturn his red card.

"World Rugby has today confirmed to the Rugby Football Union and Six Nations Rugby that it will exercise its right to appeal in regard to the Owen Farrell disciplinary decision following a careful review of the independent Judicial Committee's full written decision received on 16 August," read a statement from World Rugby.

"World Rugby fully supports the important role that an independent disciplinary process plays in upholding the integrity and values of the sport, particularly regarding foul play involving head contact. Player welfare is the sport's number one priority, and the Head Contact Process is central to that mission at the elite level of the sport.

"Having considered the full written decision, World Rugby considers an appeal to be warranted.

"In line with provisions set out under Regulation 17, an independent Appeal Committee will be appointed to determine the matter at the earliest possible opportunity.

"Further details regarding the hearing, including appointments and date, will be confirmed by Six Nations Rugby."