Farrell escapes citing for controversial tackle

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

England flyhalf Owen Farrell is free to face the All Blacks after avoiding a citation for a controversial tackle in his side's 12-11 win over South Africa.

Aussie referee Angus Gardner went to the TMO to review whether Farrell had used his arms in an 84th-minute tackle on Springboks back Andre Esterhuizen.

After looking at the vision, the officials deemed Farrell had made enough of a challenge with his arms and opted against even a penalty.

It was a decision that polarised fans on social media, with some applauding Gardner and others scratching their heads.

The choice to opt against a yellow card or a penalty was effectively endorsed on Monday morning (AEDT) when Farrell went uncited by World Rugby.

Farrell did not receive even a warning, meaning the post-match officials did not deem the incident worthy of any kind of card.

The Autumn Internationals citing commissioner had until 5pm local Sunday to cite Farrell and World Rugby confirmed on Sunday evening that no citations had been issued from the weekend's Tests.

That decision leaves Farrell clear to play the rest of England's November Tests.

England takes on New Zealand for the first time since 2014 next weekend and Farrell's availability will be a critical one for the English.