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Rugby union jargon guide
Around the Academy:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


EQUIPMENT ::
Rugby union equipment


RULES ::
Rugby union rules

OTHER JARGON GUIDES ::

Find out what all the chat means



 
A

All Blacks
Nickname of the New Zealand team because of the colour of their jerseys.

Advantage law
Play continues from a foul if it helps the team who did not commit the offence.

Against the head
Opposition steal the ball from your advantage in the scrum or line out.

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B

Backs
Seven players who make up the line behind the forwards.

Ball not released
Tackled player holds onto the ball on the ground.

Blindside
Short side of the pitch from a scrum, ruck or maul.

Blood-bin
Area off the pitch where players with a blood injury are treated.

Box kick
High kick used by scrum-halves in tight defensive or attacking positions.

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C

Conversion
Two-point kick given to the try-scoring team taken level from the spot where the try was scored.


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D

Deadball line
Line which shows where the ball goes out of the field of play.

Drive
Big push to get the advantage in a ruck, maul or scrum.

Drop goal
Three-point kick where a player must let the ball bounce before kicking it through their opponent's posts.

Dummy pass
Sending a defending player the wrong way by faking a pass to a team-mate.


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E


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F

Feed
Rolling the ball into a scrum by the scrum-half.

Five metre scrum
Attacking scrum five metres from the opposition's try line.

Forwards
Eight players who form the scrum and line out.


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G

Gain line
Imaginary line the attacking team crosses to gain territory.

Garryowen
High kick to put the opposing team under pressure - named after the team in Ireland who used it all the time.

Grubber kick
Low kick along the ground, often used in attacking situations.


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H

Hand-off
Legal way of pushing a tackler away with the palm of your hand.

Haka
Maori war dance performed by New Zealand international players before a match.


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I


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J

Jumper
Main target to catch throws from the line out.


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K

Killing the ball
When a player dives over the ball into a maul and does not stay on their feet.

Knock-on
When a player loses control of the ball in their hands and it goes forward.


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L

Lifter
Player who helps support the jumper in the line out.

Line out
Way of restarting play when the ball is thrown in for the forwards from the touchline.


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M

Mark
Free-kick given to a player who shouts "mark" and takes a clean catch from a high ball inside their own 22-metre line.

Maul
One or more players from each team are in contact around the ball off the ground.

Miss pass
Long pass which misses out players in the line.


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N
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O

Openside
Wide side of the pitch from a scrum, ruck or maul.

Overlap
When there are more runners than defenders in the line.

Outside-half
Another name for a fly-half.


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P

Pack
Another name for the eight forwards.

Peel
When a forward comes out of a line out and takes the ball from the jumper.

Phase
Describes every time a ball is in play between breakdowns.

Punt
Kick down the field or to touch.


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Q


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R

Rolling maul
Same as a maul, but one team tries to gain ground by moving the maul and the ball round.

Recycling
When a team makes the ball available after a ruck.

Reverse pass
Backwards pass where the player passes the ball in the opposite direction to the way they are facing.

Ruck
One or more players from each team are in contact around the ball on the ground.

Rugger
Old-fashioned name for rugby union.


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S

Scissors
When one player takes the ball from another running in opposite directions to each other.

Scrum
Way of re-starting play when the two sets of forwards lock together.

Sidestep
Way of avoiding a tackle by fooling the defender by moving one way, then going the other.

Sin-Bin
Bench where players who have made serious fouls are sent after being shown a yellow card by the referee.

Substitutes
One of four players who can replace another player from the same team.


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T

Tramlines
The boundaries of the playing area.

Try
Score for five points when a player puts the ball down with downward pressure over their opponent's goal line.

Tunnel
Gap between the two front rows in the scrum.

Twenty-two yard drop-out
Drop kick taken on the 22-yard line used to re-start play after the ball goes beyond the deadball line.


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U

Up-and-under
High kick to put the opposing team under pressure.



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V


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W

Wing forward
Old-fashioned name for a flanker.



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X


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Y


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Z



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