Rugby union wants to change scrums, kicking and tackle laws to make the game more 'relevant'

Rugby union wants to change scrums, kicking and tackle laws to make the game more 'relevant'

It could be looking like a way different sport if these go through.

World Rugby has proposed rule changes focused on “enhancing ball in flow, reducing stoppages and increasing welfare outcomes" in hopes of making rugby union more “relevant and accessible” to “a broader, younger audience”.

These include changing red card punishments, introducing a shot clock for scrums and lineouts and attempting to eliminate ‘kick tennis’, where teams boot the ball back and forth constantly. 

The new red card rule proposes the current Super Rugby Pacific rules: After twenty minutes, the player who received the booking can be replaced by a substitute so the team can have 15 players on the field. 

To speed up the torture that is scrums, World Rugby is looking at implementing a shot clock, similar to conversions and penalty kicks. They will also no longer be an option from free kicks, and halfbacks will be granted more protection at scrum time under the new rules. 

Lineouts would get the same treatment and an additional rule that allows for not straight throws to go unpenalised if the opposing team does not contest for the ball. 

Currently, players are onside from a kick once the kicking player passes them, or the receiving player advances five metres or passes the ball. This has resulted in a bunch of back-and-forth kicking with players in the middle just standing still, which is boring to watch. 

World Rugby is looking to change that, but it isn’t clear yet how they plan on doing so. 

They are also looking at how teams are using substitutions, researching the "impact of fatigue and the number and timing of replacements."

Other proposed changes include lowering the ‘high-tackle’ level to the sternum, refs enforcing the ‘use it’ rule quicker and harsher, and eliminating the ‘croc-roll’ technique - where a player is flipped out of a ruck rather than dragged or pushed - which has led to multiple knee injuries in recent years. 

What do we reckon, would these new rules stop you from screaming at the TV every time the ABs played?