‘I’m not going to moan’ – England captain Owen Farrell speaks for first time since ban

Colin Newboult

Owen Farrell being carded in England's Rugby World Cup warm-up against Wales.

England captain Owen Farrell admits that he made a “mistake” after he received a four-match ban for his dangerous tackle on Taine Basham.

The Red Rose skipper was speaking for the first time since the controversial incident, which lasted over a week.

Farrell was initially exonerated for the hit, with an independent disciplinary panel downgrading the red card, but World Rugby appealed the verdict.

That dragged the matter into a second week before he was eventually suspended by the second judicial committee.

Steve Borthwick unhappy

Head coach Steve Borthwick voiced his displeasure as England lodged an official complaint to the governing body over the process, but Farrell has accepted his fate.

“Obviously you don’t want to go back too far and I don’t want to be sat here talking about this now. I want to be talking about the weekend,” he told reporters.

“I made a mistake and I got banned for it in the end. I’m not going to sit here and moan about it now.

“I’m excited for this World Cup to start. I’m excited to see what this team can do and I look forward to being available again.

“I’m gutted not to be playing and I’m gutted not to be available. Especially a big game like this at the weekend.

“I’ve even always wanted to play at Stade Velodrome, ever since watching the quarter-final in 2007.

“I’m excited for the team now. There’s a real good feeling about the World Cup starting in France now. I’m excited to play my role in that.”

Costly red card?

Farrell will miss England’s World Cup opener against Argentina this weekend, as well as their second clash against Japan.

He will be back for the encounter with Chile before the Red Rose complete the pool stages against Samoa on October 7.

With their toughest match coming in their first clash, it could be a costly sending off for Borthwick’s men.

Farrell was asked whether he knew his fate was sealed immediately after the incident and he responded: “I didn’t know at the time. I knew when it came on the big screen.

“It is what it is. I’ve been banned, I accept that I’ve been banned. I’m gutted not to be playing but I’m trying to do everything I can for this team.”

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