The return of international rugby is just around the corner, although we did get a small taste of what is to come in the months at Twickenham last weekend.
An understrength England side would take on the Barbarians, and while a number of players in Eddie Jones' side would have been hoping to nail down their place on the plane to Australia with a good performance, few would have predicted how the game would play out.
Not only would the 14-man Barbarians pull off a surprise victory, but they would absolutely annihilate the home side on a 52-21 scoreline. It was a chastening afternoon for Eddie Jones who is coming under increasing pressure in his position as head coach.
There were a number of interesting moments in the game, but none more so than a George Kruis conversion. The former England lock would actually score three conversions in the game, with his back-heeled effort in the second half going viral after the game.
If it wasn't bad enough for Eddie Jones that England lost by 31 points to Barbarians, but one of his former players also did this in the game 👀pic.twitter.com/98zMrP6Hka
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) June 19, 2022
It was a great moment, but as it turns out, it shouldn't have stood.
Nigel Owens says George Kruis conversion should not have stood
While this was hardly a game of massive consequence, it appears as though Kruis got away with one here.
Speaking to World Rugby, former referee Nigel Owens said that back-heeled conversions are not permitted under the laws of the game. He went on to explain exactly why that is the case.
🗣 "A back-heel is NOT a kick..."
Everybody's been talking about @GeorgeKruis' back-heel conversion for @Barbarian_FC at the weekend - but @Nigelrefowens says it should have been disallowed!#WhistleWatch | Presented by @emirates
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) June 22, 2022
George Kruis', shall we say, very interesting back-heel conversion.
Well George, you were very, very lucky to be awarded this because a back-heel is not a kick.
A kick defined in law means you kick the ball anywhere between the knee and your foot. The ball off the thigh or off the knee is not deemed to be a kick, and a backward heel kick like that is not deemed to be a kick.
So although it's Barbarians rugby, it shouldn't have been allowed.
The referee was never going to disallow the conversion in a Barbarians game.
However, players should keep this in mind if they plan on attempting something similar in the World Cup final next year.