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World Rugby announce new guidelines which aim to speed up game


World Rugby has announced a new set of guidelines which aim to speed up the game, which will take effect from January 1st 2023.

In a long list of guidelines published by rugby’s global governing body which match officials and players will follow next year, the most significant goal is reducing the length of time between breaks in play.

Time limits will be enforced on many different types of breaks in play, such as for penalties, conversions and scrums.

Time limits are to be imposed on kicks and scrums.

Players must take a conversion kick within 90 seconds of the try being scored, while they must take a penalty kick at goal within 60 seconds of the penalty being awarded.

The kick is disallowed in each case if not, while a scrum is awarded to the opposition team for a delayed penalty.

Teams must be ready to form a scrum within 30 seconds of the mark being made, while teams must form a line out “without delay”, with no strict time limit imposed in this case.

World Rugby hope to see fewer TMO interventions.

World Rugby have also announced that on-field referees should aim to be less reliant on Television Match Officials, as reviews on potential offences can often take too long and are not clear and obvious to begin with.

The governing body has also reiterated that players must not put their hands on the ground to support their own body weight before attempting to poach the ball at a ruck, which all players at a ruck and maul must endeavour to stay on their feet.

Deliberate knock ons have also been mentioned, as there have been complaints over what many see as the harsh penalising of players who attempt and fail to intercept the ball.

World Rugby acknowledge that referees must make a judgement call when deciding if a player was genuinely trying to intercept a ball, but have stated that the player must have at least have a reasonable chance at gathering the ball.

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