World Rugby has confirmed that some fairly radical law trials will take place in New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup – one level below Super Rugby – in 2016.
Division 1A of Ireland’s Ulster Bank League is also set to trial the variations to rugby’s tackle and breakdown laws, while the FFR’s U18 League has been signed up too.
The offside line will be one metre back from the ruck in these trials, rather than the back foot of the ruck as currently applies.
The trials also see the breakdown become part of the law, forming the offside line as soon as only one attacking player arrives over the tackle on his feet. There will be no need for a defensive player to engage and form a ruck, thereby creating the offside line, as is currently the case.
The rights of the tackler will be reduced under the trial laws.
The Mitre 10 Cup will also see two referees on the pitch in order to police the above as accurately as possible, although the IRFU and FFR have not signed up to trial that element at this stage. The assistant referees on the touchline are set to police the new offside line in those union’s competitions.
It’s also worth nothing that the Mitre 10 Cup will feature a new points-scoring system in 2016, as will a number of other competitions around the world.
- A penalty try will be worth eight points (no conversion necessary)
- A try will be worth six points
- A conversion will be worth two points
- A penalty will be worth two points
- A drop goal will be worth two points