The June Internationals will be subject to several minor law amendments that have been in use in the Southern Hemisphere since the start of the year, but that the Northern Hemisphere sides have yet to encounter.
The main amendments from World Rugby 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 is also a major law amendment to the way that mauls are refereed – again, this has been in place since the start of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, but not the North.
Under the new law, a player in possession of the ball – for example, after it has been won at a lineout – will not be able to slide or move himself to the back of a maul, but rather the ball will have to be passed hand to hand to the man at the back of the maul. The sanction for breaking this law will be a penalty.
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