Gerry Thornley: The day of the jackaller should not be ended just like that

It is a great skill of modern rugby, and also dangerous. But it needn’t be outlawed

Players such as Tadgh Beirne have perfected the art of jackalling. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Players such as Tadgh Beirne have perfected the art of jackalling. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

It has become one of the great modern skills in rugby union; a player identifying when a tackler has been brought to ground, positioning himself over the ball, withstanding clear-outs and earning a clean turnover or a penalty for his team.

Cue the cheers and roars of appreciative supporters and team-mates alike. Then, having survived the attempted clear-outs, depending on the importance of the successful turnover, the player in question then usually endures death by backslapping.

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