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He can leave it on the ground in the ruck for a while but if he does not pick up the ball eventually the ref will stop play and penalize the team that took the ball into contact (likely that scrumhalf's team). However, if the ball has come out of the ruck (ie is no longer under a ruck player) someone from the other team may take the ball.

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Q: When a ruck is formed in rugby union and the ball is released to the scrum half is it true that he does not have to pass it out instead he can simply keep the ball by his feet for as long as he wants?
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