Can a player pretend to pass the ball to another and the second player pretend or act as if they have it, while obscuring the ball from the opposition?

I was watching the animated TV series All Out!!/オールアウト!! (a show about a rugby team) and they did such a manoeuvre.

Was this legal?

  • 1
    Anecdotally - I played rugby for a university that was top 20... I was a big/fast and very unskilled wing. I had one of the best fullbacks in the country next to me. We ran this exact switch basically whenever we could - this only doable under pretty exact circumstances for wing/fullback. But we would do the same "hide" and if I didn't have the ball one my favorite things was crouching to get low to take a hit and stumbling down to the ground. I can't see this being illegal in any league unless the person without the ball "blocks" someone.
    – Coach-D
    Mar 18, 2020 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


As a referee, having looked at that it's not at all illegal. It is the equivalent of a dummy, where the player pretends to pass but doesn't.

The reasons for disallowing this would be if either player obstructed the opposition, which they don't.

If the dummy occurred at a scrum, it is penalised by a free kick under Law 19.38.f.

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