Owen Farrell's former teammate Mike Brown calls for ban after Wales red card controversy

Mike Brown (left) is calling for Owen Farrell to be given a lengthy ban Credit: PA

Owen Farrell's former international teammate has said he should be given a six-week ban following a red card against Wales, warning letting him play could damage work done to improve safety around head injuries.

Mike Brown, who played for England 72 times, said Farrell should get a ban which would see him miss a significant part of the Rugby World Cup, in his Daily Mail column.

Farrell was previously cleared to play after his red card was overturned for a no-arms tackle on Wales back row Taine Basham.

However, he will face a panel on Tuesday following an appeal by World Rugby last week to decide whether he will receive a ban.

Mike Brown, who now has a newspaper column, played for England more than 70 times. Credit: PA

Writing in his column, fullback Brown said: "Given his history, Farrell should get a six-week ban."

The England captain, who plays for Saracens, has previously been red carded for other high tackles.

Brown said the England barrister defending the fly-half had "played a blinder" to initially have his red card overturned.

He went on to ask: "If he gets off, what precedent is that setting going into the World Cup?," adding that "Everyone else will think they can get off and the good work around head injuries will be a waste of time."

Farrell was shown a yellow, which was then upgraded to a red, for a high tackle on Wales' Taine Basham Credit: PA

Giving his thoughts on the tackle, which initially saw Farrell sent to the sin bin before it was upgraded to a red card, Brown said: "It was always an illegal tackle and it was always going to be a high tackle. At no point was there any intention to dip or wrap his arms. Anyone who thinks otherwise — including this Australian panel — is out of touch with the current laws of the game. The panels in place are clearly not good enough."

If Farrell was given a six week ban, it would see him miss all but the final group game England will play at the World Cup, against Samoa on 7 October.

Adding to England's potential problems, Billy Vunipola was sent off against Ireland on Saturday. Credit: PA

There could be further trouble for England ahead of the tournament as Billy Vunipola was given a red card against Ireland on Saturday, also for a high tackle.

Vunipola was also initially given a yellow card which was upgraded to a red following the dangerous tackle on prop Andrew Porter as England fell to a 29-10 defeat in Dublin.

It also remains to be seen how long a ban Vunipola will be given.

Whilst not facing any bans, Wales have their own concerns travelling to France, having suffered a record 52-16 defeat to South Africa at the Principality Stadium on Saturday and with injury worries hanging over several senior players.

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