The quirk in the laws has been eradicated in the southern hemisphere competition

Super Rugby Pacific has moved to close the loophole known as the ‘Dupont Law’ in an attempt to prevent tedious kicking battles.

Toulouse and France scrum-half Antoine Dupont has been one of the main proponents of exploiting a quirk in the current World Rugby laws which allows players in an offside position be put onside from a kick (without retreating) when the player who receives the ball either runs five metres or passes the ball.

Read more: What is Dupont Law? 

The law has been blamed for what many see as boring exchanges of kicking tennis where large numbers of players, usually forwards, remain in the middle of the field. Scotland boss Gregor Townsend has also referenced the exchange in the Bath-Gloucester game where the majority of players remained stationary for over a minute.

But fans of the southern hemisphere competition will not have to worry about witnessing similar scenes after a law trial approved by World Rugby has effectively removed the loophole.

Super Rugby Dupont Law statement

In a statement, Super Rugby Pacific chair said: “We want to create a game that’s exciting for our fans and enjoyable for our players.

“Part of that is seeing our players running the ball rather than trading multiple kicks in a battle for territory.

“We’re listening to our fans and with the full support of New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia, and our coaches we’ve responded with a small change we think could make a big difference.

“Fans have been vocal in recent times about teams exploiting a loophole that’s seen large number of players standing still while kicks go over their heads in what some people have called kick tennis.

“We don’t believe that’s the spectacle our fans want to see in Super Rugby Pacific. We want to open up the opportunity for teams to counterattack with the ball in hand and we’re confident this tweak to the law will encourage that trend and encourage exciting, attacking rugby.”

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