Premiership rugby have revealed what laws trials they will use


6. Remove the choke tackle [and subsequent scrum reward for defensive teams]

With this trial, choke tackles would be called simply as tackles – rather than mauls – and teams would then have to present the ball and play.

World Rugby says there are 0.7 choke tackles per match – of which 70% become unplayable – and 25 upright tackles per match. The removal of choke tackles would ensure fewer players are involved in higher transmission risk activities.


7. The ruck “use it” duration time is reduced from five seconds to three seconds

If a team doesn’t use the ball in three seconds after the referee calls “use it”, a free-kick would be awarded against them. The idea here is to ensure rucks don’t last as long as usual.

World Rugby says there are 14 “use it” calls per match. This law trial would result in a 25% reduction in close-proximity contact time at the tackle/ruck.


8. No scrum for failure to “use it” at scrum, ruck, or maul

It’s simply a free-kick instead, with no option to pack down a scrum. World Rugby envisages quick-taps rather than the high-risk close proximity that is involved in a scrum.


9. No one can join a maul if they’re not in it at the start

The sanction for someone joining a maul after it has started would be a free-kick. World Rugby says that capping the number of players who can join a maul in turn caps the proximity risk.

There are 8.2 lineout mauls per match and 60% of lineout mauls have all eight forwards involved.


10. Only one forward movement at each maul

Again, the sanction would be a free-kick. World Rugby says that reducing the permitted forward movements of each maul to one would potentially halve total close-proximity time. So you can have one good effort at driving the maul forward and that’s it.

Generally, there are 9.3 mauls per match with an average of 12 seconds per movement.


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