World Rugby has given approval to 10 domestic law trials to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission in the sport.
The trials include scrum options with no scrum resets, limits for players joining rucks and mauls, time to play the ball at the base of scrums and rucks reduced from five to three seconds and only one movement permitted for a maul and were decided by a panel comprising a specialist Law Review Group consisting of coaches, players, match officials, medics and law specialists following detailed analysis of 60 matches.
“The health and well-being of the rugby family is paramount," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
“We have extensively evaluated the perceived risk areas within the game in partnership with our unions. This has enabled an evidence-based assessment of risk areas and playing positions, which led us to develop optional temporary law amendments.”
According to the governing body, the changes could reduce scrum contact exposure by more than 30%, reduce contact exposure at the ruck by around 25%, and reduce maul contact exposure by at least 50%.
Hand and Face sanitisation, washing the ball before the match along with change of players kit during half time have also been advised. Also the players have been asked to refrain from huddles and other close celebrations during the game.