'We've seen this time and time again' – Brian O'Driscoll weighs in on Farrell tackle
“It was definitely foul play of some sort.”
England and Saracens out-half Owen Farrell found himself in the headlines once again on Friday night, for two very different reasons.
The 31-year-old stepped up with the clock in the red to sink a 45-metre drop-goal and secure a 19-16 victory for Saracens over Gloucester – but should he have still been on the pitch in the first place?
Just minutes before scoring the match-winner, Farrell somehow escaped punishment after he clearly make contact with the head of Gloucester forward Jack Clement with a dangerous, no-arms tackle.
There appeared to be some confusion between TMO Claire Hodnett and referee Karl Dickson on the night, with the former pointing out the incident to match official on the night, but a miscommunication between the two resulted in it not getting closely looked at to determine if punishment was required.
Farrell now faces an anxious wait ahead of some huge Champions Cup fixtures for Saracens, as well as the small matter of the Six Nations which is less than four weeks away.
Former Ireland international Brian O'Driscoll was on hand with BT Sport this afternoon to discuss the incident and let it be known that this is not the first time Farrell's tackle technique has been called into question, as we all know.
“Question marks around the technique?” O'Driscoll said.
“And there's previous with Owen Farrell as well, we've seen it in the past, and he doesn't appear for changing!
“There's not much of a wrap going on. It's funny because there's something hugely honourable about your outhalf and your leader wanting to put his body on the line like that but we've seen this time and time again.
“And he's gotten away with this one!
“Whether it was a red card or a yellow card is subjective depending on your stance but it was definitely foul play of some sort.
We'd be very surprised if Farrell wasn't cited tomorrow but the big question is will get get banned? And could he miss some of the Six Nations? We'll just have to wait and see.
Why wasn't Owen Farrell's high tackle on Jack Clement looked at? 🤔@BrianODriscoll and @BenjaminKayser explain why a miscommunication could have been at fault and consider possible sanctions for the Saracens and England star.#GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/58MLHArf43
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 8, 2023