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Sport

Farrell working on tackling technique ahead of return from ban

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England Training - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - October 17, 2020 England's Owen Farrell during training Pool via REUTERS/Matt Dunham/File Photo

(Reuters) - England captain Owen Farrell is spending extra time in training with strength and conditioning head Jon Clarke to improve his tackling technique ahead of his return from a ban, head coach Eddie Jones has said.

Farrell is set to feature in Sunday’s game with Barbarians after completing a five-match suspension he received last month for a dangerous high tackle playing for club side Saracens against Wasps.

“Owen’s always working on his tackle technique. I went to the gym ... and I was walking through before we were going to catch up and he was there doing some extra work with Jon Clarke,” Jones told British media.

“That’s a constant work-on for not only Owen, but a lot of our players.

“The laws of the high tackle have become increasingly tighter, which is for the welfare of the players and all of our players are conscious of their responsibility.

Farrell has been in the spotlight for his physical approach, having gone unpunished after two incidents of “no-arms” tackles against South Africa and Australia in 2018 but Jones said the 29-year-old is making the effort to iron out the problems.

“He made a mistake in a game. We’ve moved on from that and now his job’s to be the best England captain he can be - that’s what he’s striving to do,” Jones added.

England’s Rugby Football Union said on Thursday that it is reviewing whether Sunday’s game can go ahead as scheduled after several Barbarians players breached COVID-19 protocols.

Jones’s side are hoping to get some game time this weekend at Twickenham ahead of their final Six Nations game in Italy on Oct. 31.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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