Six Nations

Kaplan highlights 3 areas where refs can improve

Jonathan Kaplan (Leon Hugo)
Jonathan Kaplan (Leon Hugo)

Cape Town - Former international referee Jonathan Kaplan has highlighted three areas he'd like to see referees improve on during the upcoming Six Nations.

Via a column for The Telegraph, the South African said a greater emphasis should be placed on the policing of high tackles for both the attackers and defenders.

"While the referees are understandably focusing on the tackler, I think they should also be aware of what ball-carriers are doing on the fringes of the law to potentially milk penalties in contact," Kaplan wrote.

Secondly, Kaplan questioned officials' handling of the aerial contest.

"I would like referees to be encouraged to use their judgement more. At the moment we look almost solely at outcomes from aerial challenges, but I would like them to ask primarily whether a challenge was a genuine, realistic attempt to play the ball. If it was and one player fell awkwardly then that is simply part of the game."

Lastly, Kaplan asked for better policing of the offside lines.

"The pressure a rush defence puts on the ball-carrying team is incredibly hard to live with if executed correctly, but it is also a system that means you are always playing on the cusp of offside."

The 2019 Six Nations starts this weekend, with the opening match between France and Wales in Paris on Friday (22:00 SA time).

On Saturday, Scotland host Italy in Edinburgh (16:15) and Ireland entertain England in Dublin (18:45).

READ Jonathan Kaplan's full column on

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