Former Wallaby skipper James Horwill has warned proposed law changes aimed at driving the Jackal out of the sport could fundamentally alter rugby union. Those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets.
While the Harlequins lock understands the need to protect players who are aggressively removed from the breakdown as they try to steal the ball with their hands. He believes the sport must continue to allow a contest for possession or lose one of its fundamental principles.
It is difficult and I don’t think getting rid of the jackal all together is the right move. We would go too far away from what the game is, but I can understand why they are looking at it in terms of player welfare and injuries. Hopefully, that is the reasoning for doing this and not for other reasons.
“If you look at rugby league, then it is not a competition for everything. In union, the line out, scrum, ruck, and maul all involve competition for the ball and we don’t want to take that out of the sport too much because it makes union great. Yes, there are a lot of injuries coming from that jackal position and teams are going away from that and keeping defenders on their feet and numbers in the defensive line.”
Quins are currently fourth in the Gallagher Premiership and Horwill is confident the club can reach the Challenge Cup final and also make the Premiership playoffs. “We have put ourselves in a position where we are in the mix for two bits of silverware and we need to show more consistency which is something you saw in our performance against Saracens. We did some really good things and played well and stuck to the game plan in the first half and then went away from it in the second. If we can do that we can beat almost anyone.
“It is important to make the most of these opportunities because in the sport they are not gifted to you. There are not many times where you can say that with giving games in the Premiership to go we are in with a chance of making the playoff finals and also be two games away from being in a European final. We have given ourselves these opportunities and it’s now about making the most of them and win silverware.”
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