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World Rugby tweak offside law

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World Rugby went about a sneaky way to revise an offside law.

Last year the All Blacks were helped by the offside law at ruck time which ensure a win.

World Rugby is not allowed to change any laws in a World Cup year so they call it a revision instead.

It followed the controversy of last year’s Test at Twickenham when England had a late try ruled out.

The All Blacks were leading 16-15 when, with just four minutes to go, scrumhalf TJ Perenara had a kick charged down by England lock Courtney Lawes. England flank Sam Underhill collected the ball and “scored” in the corner as the home crowd exploded after what they thought would be a famous victory.

Unfortunately for the English, South African television match official (TMO) ruled out the try due to Lawes having been offside at the ruck.

By tweaking the law World Rugby tweaked the law so that the offside line at a ruck will now not be based on positioning of the “hindmost foot”, but rather the “hindmost point of any player from either team”, for instance an arm or a head.

According to the new rule change, Lawes would not have been offside.

The so called tweak came after a request from World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper.

“The chief executive came to the rugby committee and said, ‘Can we look for a clarification in law?’ It was trying to seek clarity of ‘what is offside? What is the back foot of the ruck? Is it the foot or is it the hindmost part?’ We had to take the word foot out.”

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