Gregor Townsend hopes the so-called Dupont’s Law demonstrated during Scotland’s defeat to France will be outlawed.  

There was a lengthy spell during the second half where kickers from both sides, chiefly France fullback Thomas Ramos and Scotland’s Finn Russell, kicked to each other while the rest of the players stood motionless in the middle of the pitch.

Though Scotland chased some of their kicks to put their players onside, France opted not to – with their players then only able to be put onside by the Scottish player travelling five metres with the ball or passing to a team-mate.

Townsend said it was not good for the game, and hopes a law variation being trialled in Super Rugby comes into force across the board.

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He said: “I believe this [Dupont’s Law] is not something that should stay in our game.

“We talk about space being one of the fundamentals of the game. This is a deliberate reduction of space.

"Sometimes you only get in twice in a game, the fact that someone is deliberately standing in front of the ball. Gloucester-Bath was a two-minute period with 12 kicks and there was one section in our game [v France] that turned out similar.

“I really hope the trial law in Super Rugby works. What they’ve said is that you can only be onside if someone puts you onside. There are other ways you could change that law, which is if you’re in front you have to go back 10 metres wherever you are. Let’s hope it does create more space for attacking teams.”

Townsend was disappointed his side was lured into the kicking battle against France but does not believe that will be repeated against England on Saturday.

“At the time France were doing nothing. We were winning the kick battles. They went into this kicking strategy, but we didn’t do the same - we chased our kicks. Finn could have stood there for five minutes as nobody was chasing the French kicks.

Scotland Rugby News:

Finn Russell has been involved in these kinds of kick-tennis battles on several occasions but Townsend does not believe his co-captain is being targeted to cut down his counter-attacking options.

The Scotland head coach hopes the issue is among those on the table at a World Rugby ‘Shape of the Game’ conference in London next week.

He said: “I’m sure this will be one of the laws they discuss and potentially changing or trialing it somewhere.”