|Get to grips with rugby's laws|
|Around the Academy:
A ruck may sound like a fight in the playground, but it's a very important part of rugby union.
If a tackled player goes to ground, they must release the ball immediately.
However, the opposition will want to get their hands on the ball, while the team in possession will not want to give it away.
So a ruck is formed when the ball is on the ground with at least one player in physical contact with a member of the opposition.
To get hold of the ball, both sides will drive over to make it available for their nearest team-mate.
But only players on their feet can handle the ball in a ruck.
If a player joins a ruck, they can only do so from behind the line of the ball.
This means they cannot come in from the sides of the ruck, otherwise the referee will award a penalty to the opposing team.
Also, every player must be "bound" in the ruck. This means they must have at least one arm round a team-mate who is involved in the ruck.
If the ball does not come out of the ruck quickly enough, the referee will award the team moving forward at the ruck the feed at the scrum.
There are very strict rules for a ruck which every player must follow, otherwise they will give away needless penalties.
See the rucking and mauling offences section for more details.