World Rugby have approved new rugby rules owing to Covid 19. BBC report that the rules will drastically reduce the number of scrums in a game, limiting numbers in the maul, removing the choke tackle and speeding up rucks are just 10 of the optional laws trials which were approved.
RTE Sport say that unions can apply to use one or more of the temporary law amendments in line with the World Rugby protocol on play to guidance. The World Health Organisation have supported the new laws and were considered by a law group which consisted of coaches, players, medics, match officials and law specialists on the back of analysis of 60 games. World Rugby said in a statement the trials will “provide limits to scrum options with no scrum resets, limits for players joining rucks and mauls, time to play the ball at the base of scrums and rucks reduced from five to three seconds and only one movement permitted for a maul.”
Bill Beaumont said that the health and well-being of the rugby family is paramount. He said, “We have extensively evaluated the perceived risk areas within the game in partnership with our unions”. World Rugby have also that contact exposure could be resumed between the tight 5 by more than 30%. They also said ruck exposure will decrease by 25% and maul exposure by around 50%.
In addition to the 10 laws outlined above, hygiene measures will also be in place. Hand and face sanitisation will be required, before and after games. Furthermore, the rugby ball will also be washed, before, during and after a game. Teams will be required to change their kits at half time. Teams will be asked not to huddle and celebrate in terms of close contact. Spitting and nose clearance is also not recommended. World Rugby have said that scrum practice should be done by machine rather than team mates. High transmission training such as scrummaging and mauling should be avoided for 48 hours after a game. The full list of these hygiene measures can be found here