Referee’s made aware of ‘cheating’ strategy used by Steve Borthwick’s England - Ruck

Referee’s made aware of ‘cheating’ strategy used by Steve Borthwick’s England

Referee’s ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup have been made aware of a controversial tactic being used by England.

Popular former referee Nigel Owens highlighted the illegal ‘shielding’ tactic used by England against Wales in their Six Nations clash.

Owens said: “Supporters have been asking on social media is we’re England blocking on the kick and chase. It’s a very difficult area of the game to referee because what the players can’t do is when they’re running back is deliberately change their run to block the chasers. 

“They can’t look around and see a players coming and change direction then to go in front of him and block them, 

“What they can’t do as well is they can’t go back there and sort of form a shield around the ball carrier preventing the opposition getting at him to compete for the ball.

“All you need to decide is were they putting players in front of the catcher to block the opposition and to protect the attacker if they do that it’s a penalty, if they don’t let’s play on.”

Sources from RUCK have suggested that referee’s will be instructed to watch out for the illicit tactic in upcoming Internationals, including the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Borthwick’s 2023 RWC 55-Man England Training Squad Predicted

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is fast approaching, and rugby fans are eagerly anticipating the announcement of Steve Borthwick’s England training squad ahead of the competition.

It has been reported that Borthwick has contacted 70 England hopefuls, before he whittles down the group for the final preparations ahead of a series of RWC warm-up games this Summer.

England face a trip to Dublin, as they take on the 2023 Six Nations Grand Slam winners Ireland, before back-to-back home and matches with Wales.

Steve Borthwick, Head Coach of England Rugby during the England Rugby Captains Run ahead of the Six Nations Match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium, London on 24 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

The last stop on the road to the 2023 RWC is Fiji, as the Pacific Islanders make the trip to Twickenham Stadium on the 26th of August.

So, ahead of the upcoming training squad announcement, here are RUCK’s picks, for the 55-man group, who will hope to bring the Web Ellis Trophy back home to Twickenham this Autumn.



Ellis Genge of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.
  1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears)

2. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears)

4. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks)

5. Jamie George (Saracens)

6. Val Rapava-Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby)

Val Rapava-Ruskin of Gloucester Rugby is tackled by John Afoa of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Bristol Bears at Kingsholm Stadium on December 3 2021 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

7. Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)

8. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs / Montpellier)

9. Jack Walker (Harlequins)

10. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)

11. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)