W World Rugby
Leading players, coaches and referees design new breakdown education resource
By Raga House | Fri 12 Jun, 2020 12:55

World Rugby has collaborated with some of the biggest names in international rugby to launch an educational resource to support the practical implementation of the breakdown law application guideline announced in April.


With the objective of making the one of the game's most dynamic and difficult facets simpler to play, coach and officiate, the resource has been developed with the input of leading coaches Joe Schmidt, Ian Foster, Richie Gray and Russell Earnshaw, International Rugby Players representatives Josh Beaumont and Victor Vito and international referees Wayne Barnes and Jaco Peyper.  
Available via https://laws.worldrugby.org/en/guidelines/15/detail, the resource provides step-by-step guidance for one of the most dynamic and complex areas of the game outlining guidance for the tackler, the ball carrier, the first arriving player (jackler), other arriving players and dealing with foul play. Watch the video here >> The key focus areas are:
  • Tacklers: Expected to release the ball carrier and roll away immediately in the direction of the touchline
  • Ball carriers: Allowed one dynamic movement after being tackled with an onus on presenting or releasing the ball more quickly
  • Stand-up tackle: Ball carrier will be given time to get to ground. A tackle will be called when the ball carrier clearly gets a knee to the ground. A maul will be called when defenders stop the momentum of the ball carrier and successfully hold him/her up. Maul side entry and collapse will be strictly refereed
  • Jackler: First arriving player must enter legally, be on their feet and on the ball, with an attempt to lift it. Likely to be rewarded more quickly
  • Other arriving players: Side entry will be refereed. 'L' angle entry (see guidance) expectation with players required to 'drive not dive'
  • Foul play: Will continue to be a priority in the interests of player safety

All unions have received the guidance and New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa, which kicks off on Saturday, will be the first competition to implement the World Rugby law application guideline. 

Resource co-author, breakdown specialist and former Scotland and South Africa coach Richie Gray said: "This resource has been developed by those who are involved in the game on a daily basis. It is designed to assist coaches, players and referees with alignment that the breakdown is coached in the spirit of the laws, is played in a positive and accurate manner, and refereed consistently across competitions and at all levels. 

"As I coach, I believe that we have to invest the time to coach the breakdown better. In turn, this should make it easier for the referee who has to make split-second decisions.

"This project has been a real team effort across the coaching, playing and refereeing fraternity to achieve clarity on what we expect from the ball carrier, the first arriving player (or jackler), the angle of entry for other arriving players and so on in order that we build a consistent picture for referees on the field and for coaches to coach their players effectively."

International referee and co-author Wayne Barnes added: "We are not changing the laws of the game, but we are aligned in our mission to stricter enforcement of key areas to create faster, attacking ball and a fairer contest.

World Rugby is educating its international referee panel on the change in emphasis and collaborating with international teams and unions to ensure alignment and understanding.
-World Rugby 
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Kenya Cup   World Rugby  
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