The following law changes have come into immediate effect.

Please note that a proposed law change which would have allowed a team awarded a penalty in over time to kick to touch and still get the lineout has not been brought in.


Following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, World Rugby went through a Law review process which has led to some Law changes being implemented for the 2016 season around the world.

SCRUM Law 8.3 Advantage may now be played (if it is safe to do so) when a scrum collapses, or when a player stands up in a scrum and their feet are on the ground. Advantage still cannot be played if a player in the scrum is forced upwards AND has no support on the ground. Safety should always be the priority when a scrum collapses.

Law 20.1 A team must be ready for the referee to call 'crouch' within 30 seconds from the time the referee makes the mark for the scrum (FK).

Law 20.10 When a team has the ball at the #8's feet but the scrum is not moving forward, the referee will call 'Use it!' The team must use the ball immediately (Turnover scrum).

Law 20.11 When a scrum is legally wheeled through 90 degrees, this no longer results in a turnover. The scrum is reset with the same team feeding the ball, regardless of who had possession at the time of the stoppage.

Law 20.12 The scrum-half of the team that doesn't win the ball in the scrum may not move into the space between the flanker and No. 8 when following the ball through the scrum (PK). This was previously an Australian U19 Law Variation, now applies worldwide.

MAUL Law 17.3 The ball can be moved backwards hand-to-hand once the maul has formed. A player is not allowed to moveslide to the back of the maul when he is in possession of the ball (PK).

SUBSTITUTIONS Law 3.12 A player who has been tactically substituted may return to the field to replace a player who has been injured as a result of foul play. (If the team chooses to replace the injured player with a fresh reserve, the team does not gain any extra replacements.)

TIMING AT THE END OF A GAME Law 5 If a try is scored close to time expiring, so long as the conversion is kicked (boot striking ball) before time expires, there will be a restart. A team may decline to take the conversion so long as they indicate this before time expires. In this case, there will be a restart, and the kicking team cannot kick the ball out on the full, or not 10 metres, etc, to end the game. The game will continue with appropriate sanctions options given to the non-kicking team.

FOUL PLAY Law 10.2 It is now explicitly illegal for a player to 'simulate' that they been subject to any infringement at all, including (but not limited to) foul play (PK).

KNOCK ON Law 12 If a player, in tackling an opponent, makes contact with the ball and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier's hands, that is a knock-on. If a player rips the ball or deliberately knocks the ball from an opponent's hands and the ball goes forward from the ball carrier's hands, that is not a knock-on.

MARK FOR PENALTY AND FREE KICKS NEAR IN-GOAL Law 21.2 The mark for all FKs and PKs awarded within 5 metres of a goal line is now 5 metres back from the goal line. Previously this was only true for an attacking team's mark within 5 metres of the defending team's goal line.