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England flyhalf Owen Farrell cleared after his 6N match ticket sold on Internet

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LONDON - England removed a potential distraction in the run-up to the Six Nations showdown with Wales by clearing flyhalf Owen Farrell after his allocated ticket for the Ireland game ended up being sold on the Internet.

The 70 pound ($115) ticket with Farrell's name on it was sold for 440 pounds ($735) on ticketing website Viagogo on Friday, the day before the match at Twickenham.

The English Rugby Football Union disapproves of player tickets being sold by third parties. Flanker James Haskell had his allocation suspended for three games in 2009.

Particularly galling for the RFU was that it won a Supreme Court case against Viagogo in 2012 to force it to identify people who were selling tickets on the website for England home games.

While the RFU was continuing its investigation, it said it would not sanction Farrell, who reportedly gave the ticket to a friend who had no intention of reselling it, and didn't benefit financially.

"Owen Farrell has been absolved of any responsibility for the ticket issued under his name getting into the hands of a secondary ticketing operator and as such is cleared of any wrongdoing," an RFU spokesman told the British Press Association on Thursday.

"Owen is a young man of the utmost integrity and no blame can be attached to him."

England meets Wales at Twickenham on March 9.

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