Owens shows no tolerance for "caterpillar rucking"

Owens shows no tolerance for "caterpillar rucking"

Nigel Owens was taking no nonsense in yesterday’s Champions Cup semi-final between Racing 92 and Saracens, clamping down on the practice of “caterpillar rucking”.

The tactic has crept into the game in recent times and involves players forming a string of bodies bound out of a ruck so as to protect the scrumhalf from being charged down as he attempts a box kick.

As effective as it is, there have been rumblings around the rugby world about the time wastage associated with it – a reservation that Owens clearly shares.


During the game yesterday, Owens, upon seeing the Racing players about to form the caterpillar ruck, repeatedly shouted “Use it!” to scrumhalf Teddy Iribaren before awarding Saracens a five-metre scrum.

“He’s absolutely right,” said former England international, Ben Kay. “It’s the first time I’ve seen that. It was the slowest ruck I have ever seen. The Racing fans won’t be happy but I think rugby fans will be happy.”

Owens was his usual, quirky self on the night:

Racing managed to put one over Saracens yesterday in an exciting spectacle in which the creative brilliance of fly-half Finn Russell flourished.

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A moment of magic from Finn Russell and Racing 92 are in the #HeinekenChampionsCup Final 🏆 #R92vSAR

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