Top referee Nigel Owens is the latest to weigh in on RUCKgate

Nigel Owens has admitted being surprised seeing England’s players unable to get their heads around Italy’s manipulation of the breakdown laws.

“This tactic was done by the Chiefs in Super Rugby about two seasons ago and its been done by teams more recently.


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“The Dragons did it on a few occasions when I was refereeing out in Connacht last week this is nothing new and something we referees have discussed how we’re going to referee it.

“We’ve been made aware it’s a tactic that’s within the laws of the game whether we agree with it of like it or not.”



“I am surprised because I’ve been with the Welsh squad two or three times this year going through different things and refereeing contact sessions.

“Wayne Barnes was in with England last week. JP Doyle and a few English referees have been in as well earlier discussing a few things. But whether they’ve discussed this particular thing I would be very surprised if they haven’t. I’d be surprised if players didn’t know this.

“James Haskell asked the question what is a ruck, and he doesn’t know what it is. I am surprised at players not knowing this because international referees tend to go in with their respective national squads and discuss stuff like this.



“World Rugby are in charge of the shape of the game and I’m sure (chairman) Bill Beaumont will have watched this match and will take some action.

“Of course it can be solved. It can be easily solved. I could solve it like that (clicks fingers).

“All you need is a tackle offside line. As soon as you make a tackle there’s an offside line.”

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