The World Rugby Executive Committee has approved a request by Rugby Australia for a temporary closed laws trial for matches involving the Western Force this year.
The Force are playing a series of matches against representative teams from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Hong Kong between May and August and the following law amendments will operate:
- When a try is scored from play initiated from within the try scoring team's own 22m and there is no break in continuity of possession by the scoring team, the try is awarded seven points (not five points). A conversion attempt would follow (making nine points total).
- If possession changes or a penalty, lineout or scrum is awarded, then this breaks the sequence of possession for the try scoring team and a normal five point try would be earned.
World Rugby and its unions continually review and consider law amendments that have the potential to enhance playing, officiating and viewing experience, while not adversely impacting player welfare. Rugby Australia made the submission on the basis that the amendments will reward positive play.
This stand-alone closed trial will not be considered as part of the current package of global law trials that will be considered by Council for adoption into law at its annual meeting in May.
Approval was granted by the Executive Committee subject to the fact that this is a unique one-off trial and a full detail statistical analysis of the outcomes will be presented to World Rugby by Rugby Australia following the conclusion of the series.