Ruck and Maul: Change of gear for Ford over the summer as Tiger in his tank runs dry


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The Independent Online

If George Ford is required, given Toby Flood's dodgy ankle, to start Saturday's Premiership final for Leicester it will be the 19-year-old's last action before a summer of rest.

Both Ford and Wasps' centre Elliot Daly are eligible for the Under-20 World Championship in South Africa in June – and of course the senior England side's tour there at the same time. Daly needs a knee operation and, unusually, they are being given downtime in the expectation they will play and train quite enough in the run-up to the 2015 World Cup.

Dallaglio the wheeler-dealer

Avoiding relegation was Daly's principal concern of late – Lawrence Dallaglio, a former Wasps captain, was busy cycling his marathon charity ride across Europe when he heard that his old club had stayed up. Aptly, the man born Lorenzo Bruno Nero was pedalling near Perugia when his father, Enzo, sent him texts from Wasps' final match against the bottom club, Newcastle, two weeks ago.

Dallaglio has not been to a match for months - "I've been busy cycling most Sundays," he explained to Ruck and Maul – and it is thought his friendship with Wasps owner Steve Hayes has cooled.

Even though Dallaglio has been required as a non-executive director to agree the sale of the club to a consortium led by former flanker Ken Moss, he is unsure of his future position. "I've not had much of a role, it's an honorary position really," said Dallaglio, who is an Amlin Ambassador.

"Now I'm back from the charity ride, people may or may not approach me. Wasps have had a number of glorious years. They're now going through a period in which they're rebuilding. Hopefully with Premiership status confirmed and a new ownership structure they can start to get the club back to where we'd all like to see it."

New perspective for TMOs

The International Rugby Board will try out two methods of extending of the responsibilities of the television match official (TMO) this summer, in readiness for their possible introduction for the November Tests.

While football wrestles with goalline technology, rugby union is dabbling with moving the replay's influence away from the in-goal area. Ruck and Maul understands that in one trial the referee – at his discretion and at any time – will be permitted to go to the TMO to consider a major technical offence in the build-up to a try being scored or for any element of foul play.

Referees will be cautioned against over-using the system – and rightly since so many of them now "go upstairs" even when they are on the spot with a great view of the ball being grounded.

The second, more restrictive, trial will see the referee able to consult the TMO on any indiscretion within two phases only of a try being scored.