The England captain will miss matches against Argentina and Japan

Owen Farrell will miss two games at the Rugby World Cup after World Rugby appealed the decision to downgrade his red card against Wales to a yellow.

A panel decided to ban Farrell for four matches, meaning that the England captain will end up being sidelined for the World Cup pool matches against Argentina and Japan, if he remains in the national squad.

Farrell was initially sin-binned for a high tackle on Wales’ Taine Basham in England’s 19-17 win over Wales in a World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham. But it became a red card after the TMO bunker deemed it worthy of a permanent sending off. An independent disciplinary committee then later found that there was sufficient mitigation in the tackle to downgrade it to a yellow card again.

Following a public outcry, World Rugby stepped in to appeal the decision. And what the appeal committee found was that Farrell’s original tackle was “always illegal”. They ruled that it was right to see Farrell banned for two games at the showcase in France.

While the original disciplinary panel found that a late change in ball-carrier dynamics meant Farrell was not at fault, the appeal committee found that they should have considered Farrell’s failure to wrap his opponent in the tackle. The second hearing determined that no mitigation could be found.

With Farrell already being stood down for the warm-up match against Ireland at the weekend, he will also miss out on the final England warm-up against Fiji on Saturday, as well as World Cup pool fixtures against Argentina and Japan.

England’s remaining pool matches are against Chile on 23 September and Samoa on 7 October.

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