New Law and Updates for club and school rugby in 2016
Below outlines the following set of rule updates that will be in play for this season at all levels of club / school rugby (unless otherwise stated).

  • The wearing of mouthguards to be strictly enforced:
    • Player penalised and sent to get mouthguard, play continue, no sub player;
    • if no ‘guard, no replacement for 10 mins;
    • replacement player now permanent, initial offender unable to return at all
    • subsequent offenders = yellow card
  • Only medics (Doctor or Physio) allowed on field while play in progress.
  • referee to exercise discretion , particularly at lower levels of Teenage rugby and below (player welfare paramount)
  • Water carriers only during stoppages/time off.
  • must be formed within 30 seconds of ref making mark – Free Kick
  • referee may now play advantage on a collapsed scrum; (player lifted in air during scrum – referee must blow immediately)
  • Wheeled scrum:  at reset, ball thrown–in by team that previously threw it in (Nb. No intentional wheeling at U19 level and below. Max 45 degrees if legal)
  • halfback may not step into space between flanker and No.8 – Penalty kick
  • when the ball is at the No8’s feet and no forward movement, ref to call ‘Use it’ and ball to be cleared:  3 – 5 seconds
  • Scrum: -
  • Maul:  Player in possession of the ball is not allowed to move/slide to back of maul, - the ball must be moved backwards hand-to-hand; – Penalty kick
  • No player may block throw-in at a lineout; – Free Kick.
  • Unfair play: player may not commit an act in an effort to convince the referee they are the subject of foul play or any other infringement by an opponent.  - Penalty kick.  (eg.– ‘Hollywoods’; repeatedly throwing arms in the air; continual complaining.)
  • Penalty kick: not to be within five metres of goal-line (now for defenders, as per attackers) ie. Like scrums and lineouts, no PK’s or FK’s within 5m of goal line.

Please note: There has been a lot of comment in the media around the law changes pertaining to the breakdown. These are not included above and will only be applicable to Mitre 10 Cup at this stage.
NB  - If / when New Zealand Rugby obtains permission from World Rugby these additional rules may also be applicable to Premier 1 Club teams only. Advice will follow when it is confirmed. 


If you have any queries on any these contact your REO: Paul Greenstreet. paul@harbourrugby.co.nz   021 585238