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Rule changes give rugby video refs more power



Use it ... new rules mean ruck ball must be used in five seconds

Use it ... new rules mean ruck ball must be used in five seconds Photo: Steve Christo

Wellington: Rugby's television referees will be given wider powers under a series of rule changes that will be implemented later this year.

The amendments, which were announced on Tuesday by the International Rugby Board, will also set a 90-second limit for conversion attempts and restrict the amount of time the ball can be held at the back of a ruck.

The IRB says the changes will be implemented on a trial basis from August in the northern hemisphere and from January in the southern, applying at domestic and international level.

The most far-reaching of the changes concerns the powers given to television match officials, who will now be able to rule on foul play and on incidents which occur inside the field of play in the lead-up to a try.

Under current rules, TMOs can only rule on events which occur in-goal and in the act of scoring a try. They will now be able to advise the referee on incidents which may have occurred in the field of play in the lead-up to a try being scored.

TMOs will also be able to advise referees on incidents of foul play.

In other changes, conversion kicks will have to be completed within 90 seconds of a try being awarded.

At rucks, the ball will have to be used within five seconds of becoming available at the back of a ruck after the referee has instructed a team to "use it."

When the ball goes into touch from a knock-on, the non-offending team will have the choice of a lineout at the point the ball crossed the touchline or a scrum where the knock-on occurred.

Quick lineouts will be able to be taken by a player anywhere outside the field of play between the line of touch and the players' goal line. When a penalty or free kick is awarded at a lineout, the non-offending team will have the choice of a further lineout at which it will have the throw-in.

The TMO changes will be part of three specific additional tries implemented by the IRB and could be in operation in Test matches by November.

A trial has also been sanctioned for the November Test window which will allow international teams to nominate eight replacements in their match-day squad, rather than the current seven. The eighth player must be a qualified front-rower.

The law changes have come from recommendations of the IRB's independent Laws Representative Group, which comprises representatives from each of the 10 tier-one nations and the IRB Rugby Committee.

The IRB said extensive evaluation of the amendments had already taken place at Cambridge and Stellenbosch Universities.

"The Laws Representative Group were encouraged by the outcomes of the initial trials in Cambridge and Stellenbosch," IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said. "The next step is a global trial with full buy-in and which has been approved by council on the basis that the amendments can have a positive effect on the playing of the game.

"The global trials are not fait accompli. It is essential at the end of the global trial process that decisions made are in the best interest of rugby worldwide."


Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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