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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Farrell clear to face All Blacks

CONTENTIOUS: Farrell made a big tackle on Esterhuizen. Pic: Reuters/Paul Childs
CONTENTIOUS: Farrell made a big tackle on Esterhuizen. Pic: Reuters/Paul Childs

Owen Farrell is free to lead England's assault on New Zealand after escaping any disciplinary action for his controversial tackle against South Africa.

World Rugby has confirmed that there was no citing arising from the match, clearing Farrell to prepare for the All Blacks' visit to Twickenham on Saturday.

Farrell stopped Andre Esterhuizen in added time with a shoulder-led tackle to the chest without wrapping an arm around the Springboks centre, but referee Angus Gardner declined to award a kickable penalty that would have decided the match.

South Africa's management were furious at Gardner's failure to act, their coach Rassie Erasmus praising the tackle in an answer laced with sarcasm, but Farrell himself insists there is no case to answer.

"It went to the touch judge, he said check and then it all slows down. Sometimes you can take what you want from it," Farrell said.

"If you watch that full speed, he has a big run up on me and we both bounce off each other and end up on the floor.

"It's hard to wrap your arms around when you're both hitting each other at that much force, but I tried to."

When asked if he had wrapped enough arm around Esterhuizen, Farrell added: "That's what the referee said and that's what is most important."

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