Popular Welsh referee Nigel Owens has backed a new rugby law to help solve one of rugby’s most frustrating problems that annoys fans across the world
The new law, which will be used in Australia, states:
When an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on play restarts with a goal-line drop-out. The drop-out is taken anywhere on or behind the defending team’s goal-line. It must be taken without delay and must pass the goal-line and go more than 5 metres. The defence must be back 5-metre and an opponent must not charge over the 5-metre line before the ball is kicked. If the ball crosses the 5-metre line but the bounces back play continues.’
“As things stand, in each of those cases [knocks on and balls held up over the line] we currently have a five-metre scrum,” wrote Owens in his column for the Wales Online.
“But that can penalise the defending team, whether they have the put in or not, if the other side are superior in the set-piece. Believe me, when under pressure near your own try line, the last thing you want is to have to deal with a scrum against a side who have the edge in that department.
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“The mistake, remember, was by the team going forward who knocked the ball on in the first place.
“A dropout from your own goal line is something completely different in the game and while I was not a fan at first of the proposed change from a scrum if you are held up over the goal line, the more I think about it, the more I’m beginning to see the advantages and feel it will be good for the game.”
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LIST | 5 players from abroad who could be capped by England in the future
These five have shown enough ability or promise to suggest they may be future England stars in waiting.
Foreign-born stars, such as Nathan Hughes and the Vunipola brothers, have already shown how integral they can be for the Red Rose after making the step up to International rugby.
Here are five players who could pull on the white jersey in the future:
1. Ruan Ackermann – Gloucester (South Africa)
His Dad Johan Ackermann, who departed as Gloucester boss for Japan earlier this month, confirmed that his son will be staying with the Cherry & Whites to persue international honours, and has already been in contact with Eddie Jones. The imposing number eight qualify for England on residency grounds in August 2020 — just four months before World Rugby’s new eligibility laws kick in.