Northern hemisphere comes into line

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Northern hemisphere comes into line with minor law amendments from 1 July

A number of minor law amendments, approved and announced in September 2015, come into effect from 1 July in the northern hemisphere having already been implemented in the southern hemisphere since the start of the year.  The June tests will be played under the current laws of the game, with the exception of the maul application guideline, which applies from 1 June (see below). Any international tournament that begins in June but overlaps into July will be played under current law. The implementation of the package of law amendments by World Rugby Council follows detailed analysis and evaluation of union submissions by the specialist Law Review Group (LRG) which reports to the Rugby Committee. This evaluation process also featured specialist input from the Scrum Steering Group (SSG) and the Multi-Disciplinary Injury Prevention Group (MDIPG) over the past year and is the next phase of the law change process. The main amendments for northern hemisphere implementation from 1 July are: 

  • The replacement of a player injured following foul play does not count as one of the allotted number of replacements available to that team
  • Advantage may be played following a scrum collapse if there is no risk to player safety
  • Play acting or “simulation” is specifically outlawed in the game in a move that formalises resistance to a practice that has been creeping into the game in recent years. Any player who dives or feigns injury in an effort to influence the match officials will be liable for sanction
  • Teams must be ready to form a scrum within 30 seconds of the scrum being awarded, unless the referee stops the clock for an injury or another stoppage
  • At a re-set scrum following a 90-degree wheel, the ball is thrown in by the team that previously threw it in rather than the team not in possession
  • The scrum-half of the team not in possession at a scrum may not move into the space between the flanker and number eight
  • When the ball has been at the number eight’s feet in a stationary scrum for 3-5 seconds, the referee will call “use it” and the attacking team must use the ball immediately

CLICK HERE FOR THE MINOR LAW AMENDMENTS >>

In addition, an important maul law application guideline, that has been in place in the southern hemisphere since 1 January, will be enforced in the north from 1 June. Specifically, the ball can be moved backwards hand-to-hand once the maul has formed. A player is not allowed to move or slide to the back of the maul when he is in possession of the ball and the ripper needs to stay in contact with the jumper until they have transferred the ball. Sanction: Penalty.

 CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE MAUL LAW >>
 

Every four years, rugby’s governing body undertakes a complete health-check of the game’s playing trends across the Rugby World Cup cycle to ensure that the sport continues to develop at all levels around the world. This extensive process is undertaken with full union consultation and has player welfare, game simplification and fan experience at its core.  Law review proposals are considered against the following agreed principles:
1. Player welfare, especially concussion, is the number-one priority
2. The laws must allow for a fair contest for possession, especially in the contact area, in general play and when play is restarted at scrums, lineouts and kick-offs
3. The game remains a sport for all shapes and sizes, for men and women, and for boys and girls
4. The unique identities of the game must be maintained, including the scrum, lineout, ruck, maul, tackle, kick-off and restarts
5. Any changes must promote enjoyment for participants and entertainment for spectators and must be in line with World Rugby’s core values of passion, respect, integrity, discipline and solidarity
6. The laws must be applicable by match officials
7. The game should be as easy to understand as possible for players, coaches, match officials and spectators

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