Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell works on tackling technique as World Rugby cracks down on dangerous play

Farrell was guilty of reckless no-arms challenges against South Africa and Australia last autumn – escaping punishment for both – to raise concerns over his risky style of halting opponents.

World Rugby are determined to rid the game of contact to the head and in May issued a directive clarifying the process for officiating high tackles and shoulder charges, including the wider use of cards.

While England head coach Eddie Jones is concerned that games risk being “destroyed” by a poor decision from officials, he has also seen the value in refining Farrell’s approach.

Owen Farrell free to play All Blacks

Citing commissioner Keith Brown had until today to make a decision but the New Zealander elected not to take action against the England co-captain.

If Brown had decided the shuddering hit was worthy of a red card, it would have triggered a citing that could have prevented Farrell playing in England's highly anticipated match against the world champions.

The clock had ticked past the 80-minute mark at Twickenham with England desperately trying to keep the Springboks at bay when Farrell smashed into replacement Andre Esterhuizen, knocking him back and dislodging the ball.