Haylett-Petty backs 'Izzy law' change

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty has backed a World Rugby move to punish lifters who don’t return their teammates to ground safely.

World Rugby introduced the law with immediate effect last week, after a contentious decision to suspend Israel Folau over an aerial collision with Ireland skipper Peter O’Mahony in the third June Series Test.

Folau was suspended after a contest with O’Mahony where the backrower was lifted by teammate CJ Stander and then fell awkwardly.

World Rugby has moved to add a new law 9.19 that explicitly states players are responsible for bringing their teammates back to ground.

Haylett-Petty was vocal about the need for one-man lifts to be more closely regulated back in June and said World Rugby’s move was a much-needed one.

“I think that's great,” he said.

“I think we can't be stopping people from contesting.

“It's a sport where you try and make everything a contest and especially for us having Izzy who's the world's best in the air.

“It's definitely an area of the game that we want to contest and I think it's definitely up to that player to provide safety for his player and I’m glad World Rugby's done that.”

At the time, Folau said the suspension wouldn’t change his approach in the air and he is still a potent figure in aerial contests for the Wallabies.

He has, though, been more effectively stopped by opponents in recent weeks and Haylett-Petty said the Wallabies were looking to bring more variety into their kicking strategy.

“I think we're definitely working on having variation and that part of our game is coming along.

“I think on the weekend we got some great outcomes from competing in the air but we do have great kickers that are able to kick anywhere and it's a part of the game, it's a work in progress at the moment and we're not quite there yet.”

Haylett-Petty is expected to play at fullback again this weekend after impressive performances at 15 and said it was a shift he was relishing.

“I definitely enjoy playing back there,” he said.

“It's not a huge shift for us, obviously we've both played at the back together there.

“A lot of it's very similar, it's just some minor changes in certain areas.

“Izzy obviously is world class wherever you put him and he showed how capable he was last time we played against Argentina with his amazing solo effort.

“I'm definitely enjoying my time at 15.”

The Wallabies take on Argentina in Salta on Sunday October 7 AEDT, kicking off at 9:40am AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Channel Ten.