World Rugby has announced an amendment to Law 3 that will allow the game to be on hold until the replacement for a player leaving for a blood injury or a Head Injury Assessment is on the field.
The decision follows the recently concluded encounter between Wales and England in Cardiff when Warren Gatland's men made a swift move with Dan Biggar implementing a cross-field kick to Josh Adams when the red rose team were waiting to replace Willi Heinz as he left the field for a head injury assessment.
The move from Wales eventually ended in a try for George North - which was also the only touchdown in the game - as England were left with just 13 players with Anthony Watson already sin-binned while Heinz was making his way to the tunnel to be replaced by Ben Youngs.
“World Rugby has announced an immediate amendment to Law 3 to stipulate that a match cannot restart until a player leaving the field of play for a blood injury or Head Injury Assessment (HIA) has been temporarily replaced,” it said via a press statement.
“The amendment, approved by the international federation’s Executive Committee, codifies an area that was previously at the discretion of the referee. It has the dual intention of promoting player welfare best practice by enabling a player to be assessed and treated as soon as possible, while also ensuring that teams are not disadvantaged by playing with fewer players than permitted for a short period.
“The amendments apply only to elite matches that have been approved for HIA and the use of temporary substitutions.”
Amendments to the Law are as follows:
26. In matches which have been approved in advance by World Rugby for use of the HIA process, the game cannot restart until the player with the blood injury has been temporarily replaced.
27b. The game cannot restart until the player who requires an HIA has been temporarily replaced.