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England Opposed Law Change That Could Redefine The Ruck

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Dylan Hartley (C) the England captain talks to referee Romain Poite as Abraham Steyn (R) of Italy and James Haskell (L) of England looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Italy at Twickenham Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Rugby is set for a seismic shift in its laws with the sport’s governing bodies trying their utmost to simplify the confusing aspects of the game.

The law book could be cut by as much as 50% under the “Laws Simplification Project” commissioned by the World Rugby Council. They aim to have completed the process by late next year.

The organisation is also set to trial seven new laws one of which sees a significant altering of what is considered a ruck. Law 16.1 (b) came under massive scrutiny during the Six Nations this year when Italy caused havoc in Twickenham as England struggled to adapt to the visitors not competing at the breakdown.

As they didn’t engage, no ruck was formed and therefore, neither was any offside line allowing Italian forwards to rush into the English backline.

Under the proposed new version of the law, an attacker or defender on their feet over the ball now create a ruck and therefore, the offside line. It currently requires both.

Ironically, England registered their opposition to this law change, according to a report by Stuff. However, it passed by a majority vote and the trial will get underway next year if ratified by World Rugby.

It will be introduced in the southern hemisphere on January 1st and north of the equator on August 1st.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.