Monday 23 September 2019

Player clothing - Padded shorts

I see that law 4.5f f. Shorts with padding sewn into them, can't be worn.
Does this include the lycra type under shorts or just to the typical cotton over shorts?
I have noticed several players in the opening games of the WC wearing what appear to be thigh/hip padding in their lycra under shirts. French No 6 for example.
I appreciate some 2nd rows tape padding to the tops of their thighs.

Hi Rob

You are quite correct.
5. A player may not wear:
f. Shorts with padding sewn into them.
Shorts are defined as being worn 'over' underwear, the "lycra type under shorts" you mention are defined as underwear.  So strictly speaking what you have described is legal.  It would however need to satisfy Regulation 12 on players clothing.

4. Banned items of clothing
Other than the items of clothing set out at 1(a)-(f), 2 and 3 above, a player must not wear any item of which any part is thicker than 5mm when uncompressed or is denser than 60 kilograms per cubic metre unless specified within this Regulation 12/Law 4. Where this overall thickness consists of padded material covered by fabric, 5mm is the maximum measured thickness for the combination of the uncompressed padding and the fabric. The fabric can contribute up to a maximum measured thickness of 1mm on each side of the padding.
This standard concerns manufacturers and testers of Rugby players’ clothing and should be read in conjunction with the current version of the World Rugby’s LAW 4 concerning players’ dress and Regulation 12. Particular attention is drawn to Regulation 12, Clause 4 above.

The Rugby Ref

Monday 9 September 2019


A fellow referee asked me this today, wasn’t 100% sure of the answer, though I thought it was limited only by the length of the pitch.
How many times can you march players back for dissent?
Jim Hawkins

Hi Jim

The law states that a second infringement can be marched back 10m, but doesn't mention a third or fourth infringement.  In theory you could keep marching them back, but this would be poor management.  You could also issue a yellow card for a subsequent infringement.

The Rugby Ref would suggest though that at this point you could call time off, speak to the Captains about your decision and allow everyone to calm down.  If players are annoyed about something it serves no good to wind them up further by constantly marching them back.  Instead deal with and diffuse the situation.

Remember also that if you do have to march a team back 10m you can march slowly (to allow people to calm down) explaining your decision as you go.

This is all about good management.

The Rugby Ref