World Rugby approves law trials to reduce coronavirus risk

Premiership clubs will not adopt World Rugby's trials mainly related to forward play

Implementation by unions will be entirely based on their territory-specific requirements and respective government advice and directives. While the majority of the measures are geared towards the community game, the introduction of an "orange card" for potential red-card offences was designed for the elite level.

The trials, underpinned by World Health Organisation guidance, were considered by a specialist Law Review Group consisting of coaches, players, match officials, medics and law specialists following the detailed analysis of 60 matches.

World Rugby estimated the changes could reduce scrum contact exposure by more than 30 per cent.

In the efforts to limit contact, O'Driscoll doubted whether scrums would be allowed to reset if they collapse, and believes the ball would have to be put in immediately by the scrumhalf. It is hoped that progress will be at meeting with PRL, the RFU and the Rugby Players' Association on Thursday but despite fears remaining over player safety and concerns over testing procedures, there is no appetite to introduce World Rugby's law trials.

World Rugby chairperson Sir Bill Beaumont said:?World Rugby is committed to evidence-based injury and infection preventative measures and we are fortunate to have such strong, forward-thinking and effective medical and research structures that inform our approach. According to the amendment, the player receiving the orange card will be removed from the field, pending a TMO review of the incident to decide whether it is a red or yellow card. At the ruck, as well as reducing the "use it" time, there would be no scrum for infringing the "use it" rule - instead a free-kick would be awarded.

Several hygiene procedures for training and matches have also been formally recommended by rugby union's world governing body.

With regards to the scrum, as well as doing away with resets, the proposed changes include no scrum option from a penalty or a free-kick, a goal-line drop-out when an attacking players is held up over the try-line and that hookers must use a "brake foot" to aid scrum stability.

Removing the choke tackle, with referees calling a "tackle" rather than a "maul". "We have been open with World Rugby about this and they understand our unique situation".

Meanwhile England's Rugby Football Union said it "recognised" World Rugby's work but added it had its own review under way looking at options for returning to training and playing.

One of the temporary law amendments limits numbers in mauls.

Scrum and maul practice should take place at the end of a session, ideally a day before a "down day", while high transmission risk training should be avoided within 48 hours of a game.



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