Rugby wants to get rid of this absurd rule and it will completely change matches

Rugby is a sport with multiple rules that are sometimes difficult to follow.

Rugby wants to get rid of this absurd rule and it will completely change matches

Rugby is a sport with multiple rules that are sometimes difficult to follow.

Every year, World Rugby, the institution which manages international rugby a bit like Fifa in football, makes modifications and improvements to the rules of the game in order to make the game more fluid, to facilitate understanding and dialogue between the referee and the player, but also the spectator.

Even for a keen rugby connoisseur, it is difficult to understand everything and to perfectly analyze the rules laid down by World Rugby because some are sometimes incomprehensible or simply go against the course of the game. This is particularly the case with this rule, nicknamed "the Antoine Dupont law" because the captain of the XV of France was the first to "take advantage" of this rule.

During the match between France and Scotland at the Murrayfield stadium on Saturday February 17, spectators witnessed a rather funny scene during a rugby ping pong between Thomas Ramos, full back of the French XV, and Finn Russell, halfback opening of the XV du Chardon between the 22 meters of the two teams.

The two men engaged in a kicking duel, causing a rather unusual scene where the players from each side - notably the forwards - remained frozen on the field, waiting for the player who had caught the ball to advance with the ball in hands.

A scene which provoked reactions but which is well included in the regulations. According to rule 10.7b issued by World Rugby, an offside player "may be put back into play when: an opponent […] runs five meters carrying the ball, or passes the ball, or kicks the ball, or intentionally touches the ball without gaining possession.”

To avoid any further controversies, World Rugby has decided to launch a test phase with Super Rugby, the southern hemisphere championship, to remove this rule. In its press release, Super Rugby explains exactly the upcoming change: “Defenders will remain offside until they are put into play by a teammate placed behind the kicker (and therefore onside) or by the kicker himself."

Thus, the defenders remaining in the middle of the field will no longer be able to act as soon as the attacker makes five meters forward or a pass, as the current law allows. It will therefore be necessary for the defenses to discover their backfield so that the attacker does not progress.

The president of Super Rugby Pacifique Kévin Malloy showed his satisfaction after this announcement which goes in the direction of the show and the fans. "We want to create a game that is exciting for our fans and enjoyable for our players. Part of that is seeing our players carry the ball rather than exchanging multiple kicks in a territorial battle. We are at it listening to our fans and with the full support of New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and our coaches, we responded with a small change that we believe could make a big difference." Until the next rift?

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