Rwandan Rugby Federation (RRF) has welcomed the world rugby body’s announcement of additional new rules for both Northern and Southern hemispheres.
The additional six amendments will come into effect on January 1, 2018, after being tried in specific international competitions this year. Rwanda, that lies below the Equator, will follow the rules of the Southern hemisphere.
According to the RRF technical director, Tharissise Kamanda, the new rules relate to scrum (Law 20) and tackle/ruck (Laws 15 and 16) and are aimed at making the game simpler to play and officiate as well as protect players.
“I think the new six rules are clear and we welcome them, and so we’re looking forward to start implementing them,” Kamanda told Times Sport.
About the new laws:
Throwing the ball into the scrum will involve no signal: the scrum-half must throw the ball in straight but is allowed to align their shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing them to stand a shoulder width towards their own side of the middle line.
According to World Rugby, the intention is to promote scrum stability, a fair contest for possession while also giving the advantage to the team throwing in.
Handling in the scrum-exception: The number eight shall be allowed to pick the ball from the feet of the second-rows; the rationale is to promote continuity.
Striking after the throw-in: Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front-row player may use either his foot to try and win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball. World Rugby believes the rationale will promote a fair contest for possession.
Free-kick: The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle “gate”. This will make their tackle/ruck simpler for players and referees and more consistent with the rest of the law.
Ruck: A ruck will commence when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackle). At this point, the offside lines are created.
Players on their feet may use their hands to pick the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used. World Rugby is certain that this will make the ruck simpler for players and referees..