2011 02/12
New statistics reveal changes in international rugby tactics

New statistics released following the end of the 2011 Rugby World Cup have revealed a significant change in the way the game is played.

When compared to the third Rugby World Cup in 1995, it becomes obvious that there has been less emphasis on set-pieces like scrums and line-outs. Meanwhile, there has been a substantial increase in passes, rucks and mauls.

According to, The ruck to scrum ratio has dramatically increased from around 2:1 to a massive 10:1. There is also significantly less kicking in today's game. Many may agree that this allows for a more free-flowing sport with less interruptions and more excitement for those wearing rugby jumpers supporting their team in the stands.

The ball was in play for 33 per cent more of the game in the 2011 tournament, when compared with 1995. The amount of passes per game has increased from 179 to 263, which is almost a 50 per cent increase.

An analysis of the statistics by The Guardian's sports blog has claimed that the changes to strategies now place an increased importance on flankers.

It was pointed out that almost every side in the Rugby World Cup had a stand-out flanker and that this had become a "pivotal position" for success.

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