Schmidt calls for rule change after Brown kicking controversy


Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt wants the rugby authorities to look at the rules surrounding kicking the ball out of the ruck after his side's 21-10 defeat to England on Saturday.

The double defending champions remain without a win in this year's Six Nations, and there was controversy at Twickenham as England full-back Mike Brown made contact with the head of Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray while trying to kick the ball away late in the clash.

Brown awaits news on whether he will be cited for the incident, which left Murray requiring stitches, although after consulting with the TMO, referee Romain Poite judged the contact to be accidental.

Schmidt does not believe Brown was attempting to hurt Murray, but does think the regulations need to be reviewed.

"Look, I'm not going to chase those things," he said. "They're decisions that officials make and they make them under pressure and they have other people look at things. I've never chased one of those and I won't start now.

"The one thing that I did identify is it is something that appears to be a strategy. There is a lot of kicking the ball out of the ruck and I just think it's probably something that even the lawmakers or the officials have to have a bit of a look at just regarding player safety, particularly with the head and particularly the eyes, as it was in this incident."

"The referee adjudicated on it, mate," replied England coach Eddie Jones when asked on his view of the incident. "It was fair. If the ball is on the ground then you are allowed to kick it, aren't you? Was the ball on the ground?

"If it wasn't on the ground then where was it? If you have been tackled then you can play the ball. The referee didn't think it was reckless.

"Why should I give my opinion? If I say something about the referee then tomorrow's headlines are 'Jones complains about the referee'."