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World Rugby Unveil Law Changes For New World Cup Cycle

during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

World Rugby have announced a series of law changes that will create a more entertaining game.

As we have entered a new World Cup cycle, World Rugby have unveiled a series of law changes that will alter the way the game is played over the next four years.

Although many of the news laws have been trialled individually over the last 12 months, they will now be collectively deployed throughout a number of upcoming tournaments.

Indeed many fans are aware of changes to the scoring system in the Welsh Premiership, where six points are awarded for a try and penalties, conversions and drop goals all worth two. This change, World Rugby argue on their website, has resulted in a more entertaining attack oriented game.

As a result, the trial was expanded to include, the Australia’s National Rugby Championship and will be adopted in New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship, the European Nations Cup and World Rugby competitions such as the Pacific Challenge and the U20 Trophy this year.

The governing body also intend to dispense with conversions following the awarding of a penalty try, and instead increase it’s value to eight straight points.

As we discussed in detail late last month, the maul has once again come under scrutiny. The new laws will see the ripper, the player who takes the ball from the initial carrier in a maul, remain attached to the ball carrier, in order to avoid accidental offside.

If the ripper wants to move the ball to the back of the maul, it must be fed or passed back. This stops the practice whereby the ripper received the ball and swam to back of the maul, behind the series of players driving forward.

Perhaps the most the radical change will see defending teams given the option of a five-metre drop-out instead of a five-metre scrum if the attacking team knocks on in the in-goal area and the ball goes dead.

SANZAAR have arguably announced the most exciting change, where teams who are awarded a penalty after time has expired, will be able to kick for touch and throw into the lineout.

The competition’s CEO, Andy Marinos, hopes that this will serve to ‘disincentive opponents from infringing and aims to reward sides that are particularly strong set-piece exponents’.

Although it would seem that World Rugby are seriously considering introducing the above changes in every level of the game, simultaneously  South Africa’s Varsity Cup are trialling completely different variations to the scoring system, scrum and maul laws, and most interesting of all, a white card.

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena

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