New Rules for the coming season
Next season will see a fair few new rugby rules being introduced. What are they and how will they affect the game?
There are five changes coming to all levels, on trial, from August.
1. Players have five seconds to use the ball at the back of a ruck.
2. For a quick throw in, the player may be anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the player's goal line.
3. When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on, the non-offending team will be offered the choice of a lineout at the point the ball crossed the touch line; or a scrum at the place of the knock-on.
4. A team awarded a penalty or a free kick at a lineout may choose a further lineout instead of a scrum.
5. A conversion kick must be completed within one minute 30 seconds from the time that a try has been awarded.
Sounds good, especially the time limits. Should speed up the game.
Yes, and the ‘ruck’ rule should make it harder for defences to organise if the ball is recycled so quickly so we should see more scores.
Yep, there are two more rules that will come in for Test rugby. Television Match Officials will be allowed check any infringements in the lead up to a try, meaning that knock-ons in the build-up to scores can now be spotted and called back. The other change sees the number of replacements at international level go from seven to eight, a sensible move.
Any scrum changes?
Not yet but they are going to experiment with a new method of setting the scrum, with the now familiar ‘crouch, touch, pause, engage’ to be replaced with ‘crouch, touch, set’ to reduce the number of packs that go just a little too early.