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The ruck

  • After the tackle, the ball carrier should present the ball quickly, with both hands, as far away from the opposition as possible
  • Arriving players should adopt a strong, stable body position, with head and shoulders above hips at all times, ‘eyes up’ and make contact by binding on a player using the whole arm as they join the ruck
  • Join the ruck from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the ruck; this represents the offside line
  • Support players must bind onto team mates and drive over and, if appropriate, past the ball. When the ball leaves the ruck, the nearest support player should play the ball
  • Players who leave the ruck must immediately retire behind their offside line
  • All players at a ruck must remain on the their feet and support their own body weight

Player safety research for the ruck tells us that:

  • ‘Eyes up’ to keep head and neck in a good position
  • Keep head and shoulders above hips at all times
  • Make contact by binding on a player using the whole arm
  • ‘Squeeze ball’ is a potentially dangerous technique. It is not permitted below U19 level and should be discouraged in adults