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2018 – Global Law Trials applicable in NZ

You can view a World Rugby Presentation explaining these law trials, click here

2018 – Global Law Trials applicable in NZ from 1st January

SCRUM – Throwing the ball into the scrum (halfback feeding the scrum)

  • No signal from Referee. The scrum half must throw the ball in straight, but is allowed to align his shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing him to stand a shoulder width towards his side of the middle line.

SCRUM – Handling in the scrum – exception

  • Allow the No 8 to pick the ball from the feet of the 2nd Rows.

SCRUM – Striking after the throw-in

  • Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball. Sanction: Free Kick

TACKLE – amendment

  • The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from his side of the tackle gate.

RUCK – Breakdown Amended Ruck Law

  • A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside line is created. A player on his feet may use his hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives no hands can be used.

RUCK – Other Ruck Offences

  • A player must not kick the ball out of a ruck. The player can only hook it in a backwards motion. Sanction: Penalty Kick

2017 – Global Law Trials applicable in NZ – continued into 2018

Team – (Uncontested Scrums)

  • Uncontested scrums as a result of a sending off, temporary suspension or injury must be played with eight players per side.

Players’ Clothing – A player may wear goggles which must bear the World Rugby Approval Mark (Regulation 12).


  • If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the throw-in is taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead.

Match Officials – TMO Laws and protocols have changed


  • When advantage is being played for multiple penalty infringements by the same team, the referee allows the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks.

Method of Scoring – Penalty Try

  • Penalty Try. If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted.  Value: 7 points

Touch, quick throw and lineout

  • Applicable to the touchline, touch-ingoal-line, deadball-line, goalline and 22m line.
  • If the ball is kicked and reaches or crosses the touchline BEFORE another player catches it or picks it up, the kicker put the ball out of play.
  • If a player catches or picks up the ball BEFORE it has reached or crossed the touchline, that player has put the ball out of play.  Whether the ball was stationary or in motion has no bearing on the outcome.
  • A player who is in the field-of-play can play the ball which has reached or crossed the touchline.
  • A player who is OUTSIDE the field-of-play can deflect (NOT TAKE POSSESSION OF) the ball before it reaches or crosses the touchline, and the ball stays live.
  • A player can jump and knock or throw the ball back into the playing area before landing in touch or touch-in-goal.  Play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches the plane of touch.
  • A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
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