“It’s a sad day for rugby,” said Warren Gatland after Farrell’s withdrawal from the selection

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Owen Farrell has decided to take a break from the XV de la Rose. HANNAH MCKAY / REUTERS

Owen Farrell’s decision to withdraw from international rugby is “a wake-up call”, said Warren Gatland, New Zealand coach of Wales.

Owen Farrell’s decision to withdraw from international rugby East “an alarm signal» vis-à-vis the attacks suffered by the players and their families, particularly on social networks, said Warren Gatland, the New Zealand coach of Wales, on Friday.

It is a sad day for rugby and for the sport in general to see someone of Owen’s stature having to make the decision to step away from the international scene in order to protect his family“, he lamented in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “But, paradoxically, his decision could be the best thing that could happen to our sport, because it will shine a light on some of the deplorable things happening in rugby, particularly on social media.added Gatland, who selected Farrell on three British and Irish Lions tours.

The fly-half and captain of the England XV, who is 32 years old, chose not to participate in the 2024 Six Nations Tournament in order to “prioritize your mental health and the well-being of your family», Explained his club Saracens on Wednesday.

Farrell has faced a lot of criticism on social media

The 112-cap fly-half led England to third place at the last World Cup. But he was booed several times during the competition which took place in France. He was also the subject of strong criticism on social media after being sent off during a World Cup warm-up match against Wales, which earned him a four-match suspension.

Given what Owen has accomplished in the game, he probably doesn’t realize it, but I think his decision will have a positive impact that will make people think and speak out against this abuse», Gatland still hoped. “Ultimately, the rugby community is caring and I think it’s time for the vast majority of us who are disgusted by what’s happening to stand up for each other a little more. If you see something online that isn’t right, knock it out.»

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