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Tweak AFL third-man up rule: Crows ruckman

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Steve Larkin

The AFL should tweak its third-man up ruck rules rather than ban the tactic, Adelaide tap-man Sam Jacobs says.

The AFL is considering banning the third-man up at ruck contests - where a player other than designated ruckmen compete for the tap.

While clubs are split on the potential ban, Jacobs says the ploy should remain - with a rule tweak.

""It's important that you can't just allow players to have a jump into you," Jacobs told reporters on Thursday.

"I reckon if a third man is going to go up, then I think you should be able to block his run and it not be a free kick.

"I'm a bit of a traditionalist and it's obviously a tactic that is used against bigger ruckmen or dominating ruckmen, so I wouldn't like to see it be ruled out altogether.

"But I think it can definitely be tweaked."

Jacobs, one of the AFL's premier ruckmen, noted the tactic was predominantly used against the taller tap-men such as Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands, West Coast's Nic Naitanui and Melbourne's Max Gawn.

"It's more for those real bigger guys," he said.

"We have seen Hawthorn with Jordan Lewis, and the Kangaroos, use it a lot in the past.

"Geelong is probably another team that is starting to do it a bit more now but I don't think it's something that is real common.

"There's some really bug guys going around ... and sometimes you do need a bit of assistance to compete hard with them.

"We'll continue to use it at times and handle it when it's used against us."

The AFL's laws summit meeting last November considered changing the rule but clubs were split, with headquarters considering their feedback before making any change.

The AFL noted the number of third-man up ruck contests had been rising in recent seasons - from 8.5 per cent in 2014 to 13.2 per cent last season.

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