Rugby Law Trials Accepted as Amendments

The following Law amendments were approved by the IRB Council in May 2014. To view the new law, go to and look up the amendment in the relevant section.  Below is a summary of these changes, with particular emphasis on those most consequential.

Law 3 : Number of Players – The Team
3.4 Players nominated as substitutes
International teams permitted to nominate up to eight replacements

3.4 Players nominated as substitutes (Seven-a-side)
Sevens variation for replacements/substitutes

3.5 The Front Row – Replacements and Substitutions
Re-written for clarification

3.11 Players Wishing to Rejoin the Match
Consequential amend following update to Law 3.10 in September 2013

3.12 Substituted Players Rejoining the Match
Consequential to the rewrite of Law 3.5

3.13 Rolling Substitutions
Consequential to the rewrite of Law 3.5

Law 4 : Players’ Clothing
4.2 Special additional items for women
Female players allowed to wear tights

4.4 Banned Items of Clothing
Single stud at the toe of the boot no longer banned

Law 6 : Match Officials
6.A.5 Entering or Leaving the Playing Area
Amended to reflect intention of Law for player welfare and to acknowledge
the role of water carriers and kicking tee carriers within Law

Law 8 : Advantage
8.5 More Than One Infringement
Amended to improve clarity and to ensure that the referee will apply the sanction which is most advantageous to the non-offending team

Law 9 : Method of Scoring
9.B.1 Taking a conversion kick
Amended in order to: 1) prevent conversions from being taken from within in-goal; 2) improve the explanation of the player previously referred to as the placer; 3) confirm a clarification which prevents the use of any equipment other than a kicking tee to prevent time wasting after a try has been scored.

Law 11 : Offside and Onside in General Play
11.1 Offside in General Play
Sanction clause added where previously none was present

11.4 Offside Under the 10-Metre Law
Add words “or interfere with play” to improve clarity

Law 12 : Knock-on or Throw forward
12.1 The outcome of a knock-on or throw forward
Quick throw-in after knock-on or throw forward

Law 13 : Kick-off and Restart Kicks
13.9 Ball Goes Into the In-Goal
Amended to cover instances where the wind has prevented the ball going ten metres and the ball has been blown back towards the kicking team’s dead ball line and gone dead.

Law 16 : Ruck
16.7 Unsuccessful end to a ruck
Five seconds to play the ball from the back of the ruck

Law 17 : Maul
17.6 Unsuccessful end to a maul
Five seconds to play the ball from the back of the collapsed maul when the ball is immediately available

Law 19 : Touch and Lineout
19.2 Quick throw-in
(b) Position of thrower at quick throw-in
(e) Rewritten for clarity

19.4 Who Throws In
Amended to offer lineout alternative consequent to amend of 21.4

19.8 Forming a Lineout
Rewritten for clarity

19.10 Options Available in a Lineout
Added new 19.10(k) to cover the accepted play of defending a lineout before a maul is formed, and to provide for a legitimate opportunity to defend at the transition from lineout to maul

Law 20 : Scrum
20.1 Forming a scrum
20.1(i) amended to prevent pulling

Law 21 : Penalty and Free Kicks
21.2 Where Penalty and Free Kicks Are Taken
21.2(c) added to deal with kicks taken from the wrong place

21.4 Penalty and free kick options and requirements
Lineout alternative

21.6 Scoring from a Free Kick
Consequential amend to accommodate lineout alternative


Ongoing Law Amendment Trials

Law 20 : Scrum
20.1 Forming a scrum
Amended scrum engagement sequence- The IRB continues to offer “Crouch, Bind, Set” training.

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