Farrell not cited, available for All Blacks Test


England co-captain Owen Farrell has not been cited over his controversial tackle that helped England narrowly beat South Africa Saturday, World Rugby has confirmed.

With the clock beyond the 80-minute mark at Twickenham, England were desperately trying to keep the Springboks at bay before Andre Esterhuizen made a line break.

Farrell smashed into the South African fullback, dislodging the ball which was picked up by England and then punted out of play.

Australian referee Angus Gardner called for a TMO review into the incident, and after looking at the replay, the officials ruled that Farrell had made enough of an effort to wrap an arm round his opponent to make the tackle legal — leaving the England flyhalf punching the air in delight.

The tackle polarised opinion with England coach Eddie Jones describing it as a “good solid tackle” and former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll saying the TMO got the decision “spot on”, while former Ireland back Luke Fitzgerald, who was forced to retire at 28 with a neck injury, said that under the new interpretation of the tackle law it should have been a “minimum of a penalty…shocking adjudicating”.

Had Farrell been cited by commissioner Keith Brown, Farrell’s availability for England’s clash with New Zealand next weekend would have come under threat.

Meanwhile, the extent of the injury suffered by Tom Curry against the Springboks has yet to be confirmed.

Curry was taken off shortly after halftime having suffered an ankle injury and he will require further assessment before it is confirmed whether or not he will be available to take on the All Blacks.

England hope to have Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes available but Ben Morgan has officially been ruled out.

Harlequins centre Joe Marchant will join up with Jones’ squad ahead of the Test.

Information from Reuters has been used in this report.

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