England flyhalf Owen Farrell insists his tackling technique is legitimate.
Farrell was fortunate not to be penalised for what appeared to be a shoulder charge on André Esterhuizen in the 84th minute of last Saturday’s Test against the Springboks. After watching the tackle on the big screen, referee Angus Gardner opted to blow the final whistle, which saw England celebrate a 12-11 win.
‘I’m not trying to play to the edge of the rules,’ Farrell said ahead of England’s match against the All Blacks on Saturday. ‘I’m definitely not trying to do that, especially not when the clock has gone red [gone past 80 minutes] in a Test match.
‘Obviously, you try and go forward and tackle … some people will and some won’t understand that when a collision is big how difficult it is.
‘But I’m well aware of the rules. I don’t want to play on the edge, I want to play within the rules.
‘But that’s last weekend. It’s done and it definitely won’t be in my head going into New Zealand.’
While World Rugby refused to comment on the Farrell-Esterhuizen incident, it ‘re-emphasised its “zero-tolerance” expectation regarding the officiating of foul play in the interests of player welfare’.
Its statement added that: ‘Following a review of recent matches, including those last weekend, match officials were reminded of their obligations in sanctioning illegal no-arms tackles, high tackles and charging with the forearm or elbow.’