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Minor law amendments to be implemented in northern hemisphere

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

A number of minor law amendments are to come into effect in the northern hemisphere from next month.

The amendments, which were approved and announced in September 2015 and cover substitutions, simulation and the scrum, have already been implemented in the southern hemisphere and will come into force on July 1st.

The main amendments, as described on the World Rugby website, are as follows:

  • 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

There will also be the application of an important maul law application that concerns the player in possession of the ball.

The June Tests will be played under the current laws, including those Tests played as part of a tournament that runs into July.