The IRB has inflicted these ‘essential’ changes on Northern Hemisphere rugby, from club level through to international. The changes below have been copied from the BBC, since I thought people might have a few things to say about them.
Changes to be trialled worldwide include:
– Players can defend a maul by pulling it down.
– Introduction of an offside line five metres behind the hindmost feet of the scrum.
– No restriction on the number of players who can participate in the lineout from either side (minimum of two).
– The receiver in a lineout must stand two metres back from the lineout.
– Flags are no longer considered to be in touch in-goal except when a ball is grounded against the post.
Further ELVs to be trialled in an elite northern hemisphere competition, expected to be the European Challenge Cup, include:
– For all offences other than offside, not entering through the gate, and Law 10 – Foul Play, the sanction is a free kick.
– If the ball is unplayable at the breakdown, the side that did not take the ball into contact will receive a free kick.
– If a maul becomes unplayable, the team not in possession at the start of the maul receives a free kick.