Rugby rucking explained here will help you know and understand how you can confidently join a ruck and know what to do when you are in there and pushing.
A ruck forms as a result of a break down in the normal flow of play when the ball has ended up on the ground.
You will benefit when you know when a ruck has formed because you will play confidently and give away no penalties.
Quick recap of main points
The Laws of the Game define the ruck and my simplified details are here at rugby ruck.
If you are not one of the players present when the ruck forms, when you join the ruck you must enter "through the gate".
This process is explained on the page rugby support play.
As part of entering the ruck correctly ensure the level of your shoulders is above or equal to the level of your hips.
It's a penalty offence if you don't.
You improve safety in the ruck and it will help you stay on your feet.
Having arrived at the ruck area correctly you must bind onto your hindmost player.
The objective of rucking is to win possession of the ball.
Rucking will normally be done by the forwards but any player can take part.
Much pushing and shoving occurs in rugby rucking as you try to control the ball on the ground.
You need strong posture to minimize injuries because the ruck is a tough place to be.
Crouching, well ballanced, feet shoulder width apart, half a pace apart, one foot a little ahead of the other ready to move or resist buffetting is a good start.
Have your chin up to shorten and protect your neck. Making it stronger and less prone to injury.
Bind to other players in the ruck with the full length of at least one arm.
Aim to stay on your feet, as you try to drive the opposition backwards and off the ball.
Make contact with opponents with the front of your shoulder, use the power in your legs as you drive them off and attempt to step over the ball to gain control.
You may also pull the ball back into your area of the ruck with your boot but you must avoid foul play. Avoid stepping on players.
Hopefully, the ball is well controlled and moves towards the back of your side of the ruck so a player at the rear of the ruck can safely remove it.
According to the Laws, a ruck ends successfully "when the ball leaves the ruck".
This is a GREY AREA in games. It would seem the ball has to pop out by itself.
The Laws state that handling the ball in the ruck is not permitted and yet a player at the back is usually allowed to reach behind the last feet, pick up the ball and remove it.
It's a good idea to ask the match official before the game starts how this Law will be interpreted!
All players in the ruck must remain bound, with a full arm bind, until the ruck is over.
If you detach from the ruck before it is over you must retreat behind your offside line.
You must avoid standing on or trampling opposition players.