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'It is breaking the law, so why is it being allowed?' - Ryan wants ruck laws enforced

BY Grant Constable  ·  Tuesday Feb 16, 2021

Olympic Gold winning coach Ben Ryan has said that “we’ve taken away two laws” by permitting crocodile rolls in rugby. 

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The former sevens coach of England and Fiji has been advocating the outlawing of crocodile rolls for a long time, and the topic was brought into sharper relief this weekend after Jack Willis’ knee injury against Italy. However, his main problem is that it is already illegal in the game theoretically.

Ryan discussed this with Brian Moore on Brian Moore’s Full Contact Rugby podcast, where the former England hooker said that Italy’s Sebastian Negri “did what a lot of people do”.

“I’ve been banging on for this since 2012,” Ryan said.

“I saw a couple of Fijians when I was England coach getting ACLs [anterior cruciate ligament injuries] in Sevens and Jean de Villiers got that terrible ACL in Cardiff. The very first start point is, it is breaking the law, so why is it being allowed?

“Under law, this is now being allowed, why has that suddenly happened? Every time you get new laws, you need a union to be nominated, you trial it, you have all sorts of things. Suddenly, we’ve taken away two laws, which is you’re not allowed to intentionally collapse a ruck and you’re not allowed to intentionally come off your feet.

“When you do a Judo throw, you do both of those things if it’s around a ruck, so I don’t see how it’s being allowed.

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“Sometimes if you’ve got bodies on the floor, then for someone like Jack Willis his ankle and knee have got nowhere to go. It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how well conditioned you are, that knee is unfortunately going to suffer some trauma. Occasionally you can get out the way, but it’s become part of the game now.

“The Italian was already illegal because he was on the floor, but he just thought ‘no one’s blinked an eye really and they’re allowing this’. That’s my issue, it’s in the game and it’s actually under law illegal.”

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