World Rugby announces law changes to speed up the game and increase entertainment

World Rugby has announced three law changes
World Rugby has announced three law changes

World Rugby has introduced three amendments to the laws in an effort to accelerate the pace of play and enhance entertainment.

The governing body has implemented changes regarding offside rulings from kicks in open play, the available choices following a free-kick, and the prohibition of "crocodile rolling" by players. These adjustments, aimed at prioritizing fan engagement, seek to encourage continuous ball movement, diverse attacking strategies, and ensure player safety.

The laws which will come into effect from 1st July will see teams with no longer have the option to opt for a scrum from a free-kick. Instead, free-kicks must either be tapped or kicked, encouraging a smoother flow of the ball in play.

The act of rolling, twisting, or pulling a player while they are on their feet in the tackle area, commonly known as the "crocodile roll," will be banned and penalized accordingly with a penalty.

There will also be a trial to replace a red-carded player 20 minutes after he was sent-off while there will also be a trial now dictates that the ball must be played after the maul has been halted once, instead of the current requirement of twice. Additionally, players will have the ability to mark the ball inside the 22 from a restart.

"I would like to thank my colleagues from across the game for embracing the spirit of this comprehensive review of rugby's entertainment factor," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"Personally, I believe that the law amendments and suite of closed trials will add to the entertainment factor," he added.

"As with all trials, we will comprehensively review their effectiveness and take feedback from across the game."


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