Eddie calls for union chiefs to take action

Eddie Jones expects World Rugby to revise the breakdown laws that were manipulated by Italy throughout England's '¨36-15 Six Nations victory at Twickenham.

Monday, 27th February 2017, 1:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:08 pm
Eddie Jones

The Azzurri refused to commit any players after a tackle had been made, thereby preventing any rucks from forming and allowing the visitors to stray offside with impunity.

England struggled to adjust to tactics that have been used sporadically in other matches but never for an entire game.

And Jones insists the sport’s global governing body should intervene.

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

“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.”

George Ford repeated Jones’ call for World Rugby to act, fearing the damage inflicted on the sport if the laws continue to be exploited in this way.

“I hope it will get addressed before we play Scotland because if teams do that it is going to kill the game quickly. There’s no rugby going to be played,” Ford said.

“I don’t think that sort of stuff happening is good for the game. You could see the frustration of the players, fans and coaches.

“It’s just not what the game should be like.”

Jones revealed that he had considered using similar tactics when Japan coach, only to abandon the experiment, believing it was against the spirit of the game.

“I’ve never seen a referee lose his perspective of the game. That’s the reality of it,” Jones said.

“The whole game became a joke. Our half-back goes to pass the ball and Edoardo Gori’s there. The whole time he was standing there.

“Our players were definitely shocked. You go to pass the ball and all you see is a blue jumper.

“We teach the players to look to pass the ball and when you can’t pass the ball then it becomes a different game.

“It is a contest game. We have rucks to have a contest, we have scrums to have a contest.

“We have line-outs to have a contest game.

“When you take contests out of the game it ceases to be rugby.”