Sunday 21 January 2018

McGahan expecting old tackle laws for derby duel

David Kelly

David Kelly

The chaos surrounding the IRB's decision to implement stricter interpretations of the tackle law threatens to overshadow another huge Irish rugby occasion after it emerged that Magners League referees are not instructing teams to follow the new diktat.

Ahead of tomorrow night's Good Friday showdown between Leinster and Munster, the latter's coach Tony McGahan has revealed that nobody within the province has received instructions similar to those so controversially imposed on Declan Kidney's Irish side in the middle of the Six Nations championship.

"As far as I know, we're still operating under the interpretation that has served its purpose in the competitions that we play in," says McGahan. "We haven't been informed of any change in interpretation of any rule. The two referees we've had have sensed that they are going on the old interpretation and throwing in some of the new interpretation.

"We're obviously taking steps to make sure we're not surprised by anything, that if it does go to that we can cope with anything. But at this stage we have no official recommendations."

Magners League chief David Jordan confirmed that he had neither issued nor received official instruction regarding the referees in his competition.

Tomorrow's referee, French man Romain Poite, yellow-carded Paul O'Connell during a Heineken Cup clash against Northampton before Christmas. Next week's Heineken Cup quarter-finals, meanwhile, will see the referees on duty adhering to the IRB's new interpretations.

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