Rugby Australia are set to request a World Rugby crackdown on “caterpillar rucks” following a summit of some of the game’s brightest minds on Thursday.
RA director of rugby Scott Johnson led the meeting with leading Wallabies players and Wallabies and Super Rugby coaches on Thursday – and one of the hot topics on the agenda was time-wasting.
Caterpillar rucks have become a chief source of frustration in that department, as the tactic allows teams to artificially extend a ruck by as much as a few metres by sending several forwards in to bind. The ploy gives halfbacks more time and space to successfully box kick, but almost acts as a restart of play. The tactic started in the northern hemisphere but has spread south in the last two years.
RA will write to World Rugby and demand referees strictly enforce a rule which would kill the caterpillar ruck. In short, RA will suggest that if teams don’t use the ball within five seconds of it being available – as is the current law – they should be penalised in the form of a free kick to the opposition.