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world rugby sanction law trial to end kicking tactic thats driving six nations fans mad
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World Rugby sanction law trial to end kicking tactic that’s driving Six Nations fans mad

A law change to eradicate the ‘Dupont law’ is being introduced to Super Rugby Pacific this season, in a trial sanctioned by World Rugby. Kicking exchanges in recent weeks have largely been defined by the loophole discovered by France scrum-half Antoine Dupont, with players not needing to retreat to get themselves back onside – leading to the middle of the pitch being overcrowded with stationary players. The lawbook says that offside players can be penalised if they “interfere with play” or “move forwards towards the ball”, while they can also be penalised if their team-mate kicks the ball and the offside player fails to move immediately behind an onside team-mate, or behind “an imaginary line across the field 10 metres on that player’s side from where the ball is caught or lands.” But, crucially, those players will also be put onside once the opposition player carries the ball five metres, passes the ball, or kicks it. One example of this saw Finn Russell and Nick Tompkins stood stationary in Scotland’s win over Wales, with both waiting for the other one to move first. Scotland’s defeat to France also saw the ‘Dupont law’ featuring regularly. A similar example in the Gallagher Premiership recently seeing Gloucester and Bath share 14 kicks in the space of a minute while the vast majority of the players just stood still in the middle of the pitch. Many have called the loophole and its effects ridiculous, with it only seeming a matter of time before the laws were tweaked. And Super Rugby Pacific will be the first to see change. Tournament chair Kevin Malloy said the change is in response to feedback from fans, coaches and players, saying: “We want to create a game that’s exciting for our fans and enjoyable for our players. Part of that is seeing our players running the ball rather than trading multiple kicks in a battle for territory.” SIGN UP: Get the new exclusive Inside Welsh rugby newsletter for full insight into what’s really going on around all the big issues. This special offer will get you full access for the entire year for just £10 instead of £40. For Super Rugby defenders will remain offside until they have been put onside either by the kicker, or a teammate who has come from behind the kicker. The law change has been sanctioned by World Rugby as a trial. “Fans have been vocal in recent times about teams exploiting a loophole that’s seen large number of players standing still while kicks go over their heads in what some people have called kick tennis,” added Malloy. “We want to open up the opportunity for teams to counterattack with the ball in hand and we’re confident this tweak to the law will encourage that.”

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