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Law 20.6
John Maclean


Yesterday I sent this letter to the Editor of UK's Daily Telegraph. I may get lucky and it is published!


I refer to the Laws of Rugby Football, Section 20.6. “The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line, so that it first touches the ground immediately beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders”.

The disregard of this law by referees has been abundantly evident to all of us watching TV during the current six nations competition. The scrum is the icon of rugby union and these days it is rarely executed in international fixtures without a penalty infringement.

Over time, the failure to award a free kick for this infringement has led to the demise of hooking. Sadly there is no longer a place in the side for the stocky, somewhat diminutive yet skilled striker wearing shin pads and embedded between two large props. The essential service traditionally provided by the hooker is now achieved by scrum halves who deliver the ball into their own second row under the referee’s nose!

Proper enforcement will surely correct the now farcical attempts to restart the game with a scrum without the seemingly inevitable penalties.

Yours faithfully

John K C Maclean


Posté 13 févr. 2017 08.11
Bruno Geoffroy
Entraîneur Niveau 1

Dear John

I fully agree. Or the rule is changed or the rule is applied. Nothing in between shall be acceptable.

One day a team will introduce on the right (i.e. not the left) side of the scrum since the geometrical hooker's advantage (position in the scrum, how many defending feet are potentially between him and the introduction) does not matter anymore...

All the best to all


Posté 20 mars 2017 01.11
Joe Elliott

New Zealand

Hi John

My complaint exactly. I made this complaint while being totally unaware that you had already done so quoting Law 20.6. So much time and effort is put into scrummage coaching and yet when the scrumhalf is allowed to throw the ball directly under his sides locks feet the opposing side has no chance of hooking the ball against the head no matter how strong they are.

At times the ball is thrown into the scrum by the scrumhalf at such an angle that it pops out at the back even when the favoured sides scrum is going backwards.

Joe Elliott

Edited by Joe Elliott on 3rd Apr 2017 at 13:10

Posté 3 avril 2017 01.11

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