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Jones, Ford call for World Rugby intervention after Italy 'no-ruck' tactics

By Harry West
Eddie Jones has made a huge call bringing back George Ford as England's starting No10

George Ford believes Italy’s novel approach at the breakdown could “kill the game quickly”, the England fly-half echoing his coach’s sentiments in calling on World Rugby to address the issue.

Ford featured at Twickenham on Sunday as Eddie Jones’ side prevailed 36-15 to keep alive their dreams of a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam.

But the defending champions trailed 10-5 at the break as they were left bemused by their opponents’ unusual gameplan.

Italy opted not to commit men to the ruck, meaning there was no offside line and the Azzurri forwards were free to step across and cut down the space available to England.

Visiting head coach Conor O’Shea defended his side’s tactics afterwards, but Jones was left far from impressed.

“World Rugby are in charge of the shape of the game and I’m sure [chairman] Bill Beaumont will have watched this match and will take some action,” he said.

“Of course it can be solved. It can be easily solved. I could solve it like that [clicks fingers]. All you need is a tackle offside line. As soon as you make a tackle there’s an offside line.”

“I hope it will get addressed before we play Scotland [on March 11] because if teams do that it is going to kill the game quickly,” added Ford. “There’s no rugby going to be played.

“I don’t think that sort of stuff happening is good for the game. You could see the frustration of the players, fans and coaches. It’s just not what the game should be like.”



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