The England captain has been banned for five matches after receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle

Owen Farrell sent off as Saracens lose to Wasps

Owen Farrell has beeen banned for five matches after being sent off in Saracens’ 28-18 Gallagher Premiership defeat by Wasps for a dangerous tackle on Charlie Atkinson.

The incident happened midway through the second half when Farrell burst out of the line and caught Wasps replacement Atkinson high with a swinging arm.

Referee Christophe Ridley was quick to show Farrell a red card for the dangerous tackle and Atkinson required a lengthy period of treatment on the pitch at Allianz Park.

You can watch the incident here…

The England fly-half, who apologised to Atkinson as he left the field with Wasps’ medics, was given a five-match suspension at a disciplinary hearing and he cannot play again until 5 October.

That means he will miss Saracens’ European Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster and the remainder of the club’s Premiership matches.

In World Rugby’s sanctions for foul play, regulation 9.13 covers dangerous tackles: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The recommended sanctions are two weeks for a low-end offence, six weeks for mid-range and ten-plus for the top end. The disciplinary panel determined that the tackle, which was described as “totally unacceptable”, was at the top end, so had an entry point of ten matches. The panel then applied the maximum 50% reduction due to mitigating factors.

Owen Farrell sent off

Handshake: Owen Farrell apologises to Charlie Atkinson (Getty Images)

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

“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 ten matches to five meaningful matches under RFU regulation 19.11.11. The player is free to play again on 5 October.”

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