‘Gutted’ Owen Farrell admits to red-card ‘mistake’ ahead of missing Rugby World Cup openers

‘Gutted’ Owen Farrell admits to red-card ‘mistake’ ahead of missing Rugby World Cup openers

Owen Farrell has shouldered the blame for missing the start of England’s Rugby World Cup campaign through suspension.

Farrell has conceded his high-tackle red card against Wales at Twickenham was a “mistake”, in his first time addressing the dismissal and fallout in detail.

England will go into their first two World Cup matches without their captain, with Farrell sitting out the final pair of his four-game ban.

The 31-year-old was sent off in England’s 19-17 win over Wales in west London, but later saw his red card rescinded in a disciplinary hearing. World Rugby appealed that decision however, winning the challenge and leading to Farrell’s four-match absence.

The Saracens star cannot feature against Argentina in Marseille on Saturday, in what is clearly England’s toughest Pool D encounter.

“I am gutted not to be playing and I’m gutted not to be available, especially with a big game like this at the weekend,” said Farrell.

“I made a mistake and I got banned for it in the end. I am not going to sit here and moan about it now. I am excited for this World Cup to start, I am excited to see what this team can do and I look forward to being available again.”

Farrell will be available for England’s third World Cup match, against Chile in Lille on Saturday, September 23.

The Lions fly-half is clearly itching to get back into action with England as soon as possible, but has been working hard in training with the squad. The skipper vowed to continue to lead the team even though he cannot take the field this weekend or next, against Japan.

“It is what it is; obviously you don’t want to go back too far and I don’t want to be sat here talking about this now,” said Farrell.

“I want to be talking about the weekend. All that matters is Argentina on Saturday, and how much this team is working hard to prepare for that.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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 being out here in France now. I’m excited to play my role in that.

“I just want to help as much as I can. I want to be part of this team and help. The 33 have got a massive role to play this week. It’s not just a 15 or a 23.

“During the Six Nations you have a squad and then the squad gets picked for the weekend. On Tuesday or Wednesday some of the lads go home, but that’s not the case here. We’re together the whole time and that 33 have a massive impact on how the squad feels and I’m looking to play my part in that.

“I’m just trying to help out. There will be times when it might be needed and times when it’s not. I’ve been around long enough to understand that.”