With a momentous win in the bag, England head coach Eddie Jones’ could hardly be blamed for a quick snipe on the final whistle – it wouldn’t be Eddie without one. With that said, one of his comments has left fans a little confused – the ‘captain’s challenge’.


‘We had a captain’s challenge! A new thing in rugby. We weren’t told about that law,’ Jones told ITV Sport’s Martin Bayfield after the match.

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It’s left plenty of fans scratching their heads on social media.


The law does exist, but not in any northern hemisphere competition. At least not yet.

The captain’s challenge or ‘captain referral’ is currently being trialled in Super Rugby Aotearoa. This law variant has been introduced in several sports and New Zealand Rugby are trialling it in rugby with each team given one referral which can be activated in one of three scenarios: any decision in the last five minutes of the game, an infringement in the build-up to a try or foul play.

It has been used in rugby league and cricket and could be used in rugby union should it prove popular or at least useful in New Zealand.


It’s not entirely clear what incident Jones was referring to with the jibe though.

It could have been the TMO’ing of Itoje’s late try or a decision by referee Andrew Brace to change a late penalty decision. Jones, who had in the first half been ordered away from the touchline after coming down from the stands, was clearly fired up all match.

“Fair play to Andrew Brace for changing that decision against Earl don’t often see refs do that!”, wrote Andy Goode on Twitter.

Needless to say, any Jones ire quickly turned to glee when Anthony Watson kicked the ball dead to seal the England victory in the 80th minute.

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