Nigel Owens slams latest law change, says it will only create more problems - Ruck

Nigel Owens slams latest law change, says it will only create more problems

Former rugby referee Nigel Owens believes a new rugby law is just going to create more problems, not solve them.

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He wrote in his column for Wales Online: “From July 1, the option of taking a scrum when a free-kick is awarded will be removed, in a move to encourage the ball being kept in motion and keep the game fast and free-flowing.

“However, I fear that introducing this new law is simply papering over the cracks of the game’s issues and is more likely to create further problems than solve the existing ones.”

Owen continued: “We must always remember that rugby has always been a very unique sport because it is a sport for all shapes and sizes. That is one of the main attractions, people play the game because there’s a place for them in it.

“For the guys in the front row, the likes of your Adam Joneses and your Ben Tameifunas, their bread and butter is being in the scrum. It’s a chance for them to use their strength and physical ability to benefit their team.

“That’s the same for all front rows, including the youngsters coming through. I was speaking out in Belfast last weekend and there were a couple of young players there who were playing in the front row and wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.

“We simply have to ensure that the scrum remains an integral part of the game. If it’s not, then we are going to lose these players – and damage the game itself.

“When you have a scrum setup, you have 16 players bound in the scrum, so what you have behind you is space. It’s important to be able to keep those 16 players in the scrum for as long as you can, because when the ball comes out, there’s space for them to attack.

“If we don’t have those players in the scrum, we’re just going to have continuous pick-and-go ball. You’re not going to better the game at all. It is less collisions we need to encourage in the game, not more.

“With this new law, World Rugby is not bringing in something which is not going to deal with the issues that are at play, but it is going to depower the scrum and take away an important part of the game. If we’re not careful, within a couple of years we will be like rugby league, with even less space on the field that what we have now.”

Read his full column here.

Nigel Owens ranked his top six captains, one England skipper features

The popular referee selected his picks for Wales Online, but set out at the start that he wouldn’t be picking any Welshman in his selection.

“I am not going to include any Welsh players on my list because I haven’t refereed them in international matches.

“Anyway, these are my top Test skippers ranked, Welshmen aside.”


#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”