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what are the laws for bridging in rugby union?

can you touch the player on the ground? can you place your hands over the player onto the ground? any information on this would be really helpful.

 

Kirsten

If you look in the "Most Read" section on this answers page you will see an answer I gave previously and then quite a debate went on between various coaches around the world.

You should find the answer to your question there and a lot more information besides. I have redone my original answer below:

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In order to answer your question, I spoke with Ed Morrison who is the RFU's Head of Elite Referee Development. He told me that there is actually no technical term “Bridging” in the Laws of the game. Rather there is a clear instruction that players entering the tackle area must stay on their feet.

The term “bridging” is commonly used to describe a supporting player leaning on the tackled player to protect the ball from the opposition. This results in the supporting player being in a vulnerable position with their neck exposed when they are hit by the opposition trying to clear out the tackle area.

With all players, but especially younger players with softer bones, this is a great concern in terms of safety. Therefore, the Law also states that supporting players should also be able to support their own body weight and this prevents the leaning on the tackled player.

My own view is that coaches should encourage players to adopt a scrummage position over the tackled player with head up so that they are protecting possession without being in a vulnerable position.

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I hope this helps and please email again if you need more information.

Simon

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  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans