Kicking from your 22 under the ELVs

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If your opponents have played the ball into your 22, you are still allowed to kick directly into touch, with the lineout from where the ball went out. However, if one of your players takes the ball back into your own 22, and then any of your players kick directly into touch, the lineout is level with where your player kicked the ball.

There is one area particularly which I think may be confusing for players in the heat of the game. If your team took the ball into your own 22 and then a ruck, maul or scrum occurs, providing the ball remains in the 22 throughout the passage of play, one of your players may then kick directly into touch, with the lineout from where the ball went out.

Technical issues: The back three will need to improve their:

  • Long kicking.
  • High ball kick and chase.
  • High ball catch and return.
  • Positioning to offer options to the player taking the ball.

Tactical issues: In attack you need to decide whether to kick from a set piece just outside your 22. If you want to use a kicking game, it seems sensible to kick long for the corners, or use a high ball down the centre of the pitch.

It is likely you will kick infield more than before the changes, so your chase needs more organisation with a chasing team and a backfield recovery team in place.

Defending against these types of kick requires a new type of set piece from lineouts and scrums on the edge or just outside the opposition 22. Wingers need to be deep and the full back lined up inside the line of the opposition fly half. The predominant foot of the fly half usually dictates the position they take.

More sophisticated teams may look at the possible options offered by a "wiper"/cross kick or with a kick from a different footed centre. This affects the positioning of the defensive openside winger.

If you need more guidance on the ELVs then click here to download your free copy of The Coaches' Guide to Surviving the ELVs. You can also see the IRB's own video on the ELVs in The Huddle, by clicking here.