Clip 2 - 16 March 2017 - Law 8

Bewildered, two experienced English players ask the referee to explain the laws of the ruck.

James Haskell and Dylan Hartley ask the referee to explain the laws of the ruck, not because they want to catch him out but because the Italians have caught them out, out-thought them in fact.

Hartley, captain of England, has 84 English caps, Haskell 75. They have each played in the region of 250 other first class matches. They are experienced.

There is a referee explain to them what a tackle is and what a ruck is and the difference of offside. If it is a tackle there is an area near - 1 metre - to the tackle that has restrictions that govern further participation but no offside line.

A ruck, which in its rudimentary form has a player from each side on his feet in physical contact over the ball which is on the ground, has offside lines that stretch the whole width of the field, from touchline to touchline.

The referee says something else that is important: "I'm a referee, not a coach. You've got to work it out." advert