We explain who kicks and receives the ball in rugby

Who kicks off after a score in rugby?

Let’s start at the very start, with the first kick-off: At the start of a rugby match, one team’s captain will have won the pre-match coin toss – The winner of the toss decides whether to kick off or to choose an end. If the winner of the toss decides to choose an end, the opponents must kick off and vice versa. All kick-offs and restart kicks are drop kicks.

The team who received the ball at the very start of the match will kick off the second half.

But you want to know who kicks the restart after any points are scored.

Answer: In XVs, after a team has scored, their opponents will restart play with a kick-off from halfway. This is different in sevens. In the shortened variation of the game, after a team has scored, the same team restarts with a drop kick.

Related: How to kick off – by Tommy Allan

With all kick-offs, all players must be behind the ball when it is kicked. If they are not, a scrum is formed at the centre.

Where should the receiving team stand at kick-offs?

Players on the receiving side must be on or behind the 10-metre line. The ball must reach the 10-metre line – If it reaches the opponents’ 10-metre line or reaches the 10-metre line and is blown back, play goes on. If the ball doesn’t reach the 10-metre line but is first played by an opponent, play on. But if this doesn’t happen, at the start of the game it can be retaken or there is a scrum. If the ball doesn’t go ten metres after a score, it’s a scrum.

If a kick-off goes into the opponents’ in-goal without touching any player and an opponent grounds it – or it goes dead through in-goal – the receiving team has the option of having the kick retaken or a scrum.

If a kick-off goes directly into touch, the receiving team have the option of either having the kick retaken, having a scrum in the middle of the park or take the lineout (a quick throw is also possible).

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