Nigel Owens Reacts To Italy’s Ruck Tactics Against England

Nigel Owens has admitted being surprised seeing England’s players unable to get their heads around Italy’s manipulation of the breakdown laws.

The former World Rugby Referee of the Year noted that the tactic is nothing new and has been used by the likes of the Chiefs and the Dragons in recent years.

“This tactic was done by the Chiefs in Super Rugby about two seasons ago and its been done by teams more recently,” Owens told Brian Moore’s Full Contact podcast on the Daily Telegraph.
“The Dragons did it on a few occasions when I was refereeing out in Connacht last week this is nothing new and something we referees have discussed how we’re going to referee it.
“We’ve been made aware it’s a tactic that’s within the laws of the game whether we agree with it of like it or not.”

Owens says he is surprised that England did not know the rules of the game.

 “I am surprised because I’ve been with the Welsh squad two or three times this year going through different things and refereeing contact sessions.
“Wayne Barnes was in with England last week. JP Doyle and a few English referees have been in as well earlier discussing a few things. But whether they’ve discussed this particular thing I would be very surprised if they haven’t. I’d be surprised if players didn’t know this.
“James Haskell asked the question what is a ruck, and he doesn’t know what it is? I am surprised at players not knowing this because international referees tend to go in with their respective national squads and discuss stuff like this.”