An extract from the updated Merit Table rules about player no's, replacements etc.

There will be a maximum number of 3 replacements allowed per team in Tables 1 to 6 inclusively. In Tables 7 and 8, a maximum of 5 replacements will be allowed, but only if the opposing team has a minimum of 15 players.

The law regarding Rolling Substitutes will be again be implemented in all Tables, providing both sides can commence the match with 15 players and 3 replacements.

Up to 5 replacements are permitted in Tables 7 and 8; however, both sides must have the same number of replacements (3, 4 or 5) to allow Rolling Substitutes to be played.

We have brought our Merit Tables in line with many other National Merit Tables such that both sides must start each match with an equal number of players.

Where a team arrives with less than 15 players, then captains/managers are required to balance the numbers in the sides by loaning players to the side with less than 15 players, or by reducing their own side to match numbers of their opposition. Replacements remain at a maximum of 3. Rolling substitutes can only be played if both sides commence the game with 15 players and 3 substitutes.

If either side has less than 3 replacements (Tables 1 to 6 inclusive) normal playing laws apply, and Rolling Substitutes will not be played.

Any side failing to balance out sides to equal numbers will be subject to a penalty of up to 2 points and loss of the game.

pattern of sides being on the end of very heavy defeats is counter-productive to enjoyable social rugby with the subsequent loss to the game of new and developing players. Therefore in Tables 6, 7 and 8 only, once a side achieves a score of 60 points ahead of their opponents the referee will give the captain of the losing side the option of ending the game or continuing to the end of normal time.