World Rugby has proposed a set of optional law variations to trial in the hope of accelerating the return to play and mitigating the risks of Covid 19.

A summary of the proposals are pictured below.

The full announcement from World Rugby can be found here

(Hat tip to Paul Tilley for the post on the Facebook page)

 

 

World Rugby has announced that, with immediate effect, it will no longer be possible to score a try by grounding the ball against the post protector.

The minor amendment to Law 8 was approved by the World Rugby Council during its special meeting held via teleconference today and follows a recommendation by the international federation's Rugby Committee and specialist Laws Review Group. 

With defending players currently legally obliged to stay behind the goal-line and post-protector shape and size increasing for welfare reasons, it is increasingly difficult for teams to legally defend this area.

In some extreme cases, post protectors have been lifted or moved by defending teams, leaving the posts exposed and therefore increasing the risk of injury.

The amended law will now read: The post protector is no longer an extension of the goal-line and therefore Law 8.2 (a) will read: A try is scored when the attacking player is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal. 

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "World Rugby’s mission is to make the game as simple, safe and enjoyable to play as possible. This law amendment reflects that mission.

"By stipulating that an attacking team can no longer score against the post protector and therefore must ground the ball in-goal, this gives defending teams a fair chance of preventing a try from being scored."

The 2020 Laws of the Game are accessible in 11 languages online at www.laws.worldrugby.org and three languages on the mobile App via Google Play and the Apple Store. There is also an online quiz for budding laws experts. 

Meanwhile, World Rugby continues to monitor evaluate ongoing closed law trials, which have been implemented with enhancing player welfare in mind. They will resume when rugby resumes.

Initial feedback for the 50:22 and the below the waist tackle are encouraging, with the latter resulting in a three-fold decrease in injuries and a 60 per cent reduction in concussion in the French community game.

 

World Rugby has issued a law application guideline for the breakdown following the Executive Committee's approval of recommendations by the specialist breakdown working group. The Law 14 and 15 application guideline will be operational for all competitions commencing after 1 July, 2020 and reinforces the application of current law for what is a complex and dynamic facet of the game. With a focus on player welfare and game attractiveness, a specialist breakdown group comprising international coaches, players, medical, laws and research experts, considered current trends and challenges and considered law change before recommending a strict reinforcement of existing law as the most appropriate and successful course of action, specifically: 

  • Tackler (Law 14): 14.5 – must a) Immediately release the ball and the ball-carrier after both players go to ground and b) Immediately move away from the tackled player and from the ball or get up. 

 

  • Ball Carrier (Law 14): 14.2 – Being brought to ground means that the ball-carrier is lying, sitting or has at least one knee on the ground or on another player who is on the ground. 14.5 – Tacklers must: d) Allow the tackled player to release or play the ball. 

 

  • First arriving player (Law 15): 15.11 – Once a ruck has formed, no player may handle the ball unless they were able to get their hands on the ball before the ruck formed and stay on their feet. 15.12 – Players must endeavour to remain on their feet throughout the ruck. 

 

  • Other arriving players (Law 15): 5 – An arriving player must be on their feet and join from behind their offside line. 6 – A player may join alongside but not in front of the hindmost player. 10 – Possession may be won either by rucking or by pushing the opposing team off the ball. 

 

World Rugby has produced a comprehensive visual guide, including video explanations, for the rugby community on its laws website, laws.worldrugby.org. 

 

  

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