Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Leggings now legal for all players.

A new law amendment from World Rugby, effective immediately (12 Oct 2021), will mean that all players now have the option of wearing tights/leggings on any playing surface.

The World Rugby Executive Committee today approved an amendment to the laws of the game and Law 4 will now be extended. Currently permissible for women, Law 4 – covering player’s clothing – will now be extended to all participants with immediate effect, enabling the wearing of tights or leggings that are a cotton blend with a single inside leg seam.

The announcement has been made on welfare and accessibility grounds and reflects the growing worldwide use of World Rugby Regulation 22 compliant artificial surfaces at both the elite and community levels, which have played a role in increased rugby accessibility and participation. With some players susceptible to abrasions on artificial surfaces, the decision gives players the option to wear tights or leggings as a preventative measure, maximising access to the game.

World Rugby have said they will continue to work with unions and registered artificial turf providers to ensure that rigorous best-practice maintenance programmes are observed that minimise the risk of abrasions, particularly in relation to brushing and watering especially in hot conditions.

The wording does not restrict leggings to any particular surface, so leggings may be worn in any match, on any surface.

New law wording:

Law 4: Players clothing.

Section 3: Additional clothing list – new section K added:

4.3 Additional items are permitted. These are….:

k) Cotton blend long tights or leggings, with single inside leg seam under their shorts and socks.

The Rugby Ref 

Monday, 4 October 2021

Taken Back In


Just watching the All Blacks v S Africa game and a Springbok player kicked from his own 22 with the ball landing a metre or so outside the All Black's 22 which obviously is not a 50:22.

The All Blacks Outside Half picked the ball up out of play and staying out of play retreated behind his 22 line, he then threw the ball quickly to his winger who was in the 22 who then kicked directly to touch within the Springbok's half - should this have been classed as taking the ball back into your own 22 with the line out throw awarded to the Springboks in the All Blacks 22.


Hi Rob

Good question, and yes you are correct, the ball was taken back into the 22, so no gain in ground should have occurred and the resulting lineout should have been in line with where the ball was kicked.

Law 18.7 refers to this and is accompanied in the Law Book with a diagram to illustrate it.

18.7. If the mark of touch is outside the 22, the defending team may take the quick throw inside the 22 but is deemed to have taken the ball into the 22.

The Rugby Ref 

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Global Law Trials

The following global law trials apply to competitions beginning on or after 1st August 2021.

World Rugby GLT's LINK


The trial

If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents’ 22, they will throw into the resultant lineout. The ball cannot be passed or carried back into the defensive half for the 50:22 to be played. The phase must originate inside the defensive half.

Primary intention

To encourage the defensive team to put more players in the backfield, thereby creating more attacking space and reducing defensive line speed.

Goal line drop-out

The trial

If the ball is held up in in-goal, there is a knock-on from an attacking player in in-goal or an attacking kick is grounded by the defenders in their own in-goal, then play restarts with a goal line drop-out anywhere along the goal line.

Primary intention

To encourage variety in attacking play close to the goal line and to increase ball in play time by replacing a scrum with a kick that must be taken without delay. An opportunity for counter attack is also created.

Flying wedge

The trial

To sanction the three person pre-bound mini-scrum by redefining the flying wedge.

Primary intention

To reduce number of events where the ball carrier and multiple support players are in contact (latched) prior to contact, and to protect the tackler who can be faced with the combined force of three opposing players.

1-player pre-latched

The trial

To recognise the potential for 1-player pre-latching prior to contact, but this player must observe all of the requirements for a first arriving player, particularly the need to stay on their feet.

Primary intention

To be more consistent in the management of the 1-person pre-latched player.

Cleanout and the safety of the jackler

The trial

To introduce a sanction for clean outs which target or drop weight onto the lower limbs.

Primary intention

To reduce injury risk to the player being cleaned out.

Friday, 13 August 2021

This question has been bugging me for a while

This question has been bugging me for a while, and I'm not sure about the answer. 
Scenario:  In a 15s match, team A has been awarded a penalty, and they chose to kick for goal by place kicking it. The attempt at goal was genuine, however, it wasn't successful and the ball ended up in touch (either because of the strong wind, poor execution, or the ball bounced off the post) without touching any player.
According to law 18.8.c:  "Ball is kicked from a penalty.  Event: A player kicks the ball into touch (either directly or first bouncing in the field of play or hitting an opponent or the referee).  Who throws in: The kicking team."  Seems like team A should get the throw-in of the lineout.
But according to what Clarification 2, 2006 (literally 15 years ago) says:  "If the penalty kick is for goal, then it is a lineout defending team to throw in. Law 21.4(d)."  Seems like team B should get the throw-in of the lineout.
Should the referee award the throw-in of the resulting lineout to team A or team B? 
(Nigel Owens answering a similar question: )
If the same scenario happened in a 7s/10s match, is it correct that team A get the throw-in? (Since they could only drop kick for goal instead of place kicking, therefore no issue regarding "place kick for touch".)


Lots of questions there Sam, we can ignore the clarification since all clarifications were transferred into law before the new simplified law book was written.  Unfortunately the simplified law book moved and omitted a lot of useful data!

We have to go with what the Law Book currently says.  The kick at goal must be a credible attempt, however if in the very unlikely circumstances it were to genuinely get blown into touch the kicking team would get the throw in.  It is the referees decision however as to whether the attempt at goal was genuine.

In 7s/10s the drop goal is still a penalty kick, just taken in a different way (in 15s any penalty kick can be taken as a drop goal), it doesn't stop it being a penalty.  So the result would be the same.


The Rugby Ref

Monday, 8 March 2021

Time on after PK

 Hi Ref,

I believe you also watched the match between End and Wales on last Sat.

About the first try of Wales, i am curious about the “time on” calling of the ref.

Was it a correct or proper time point or  management to call “time on” after the ref briefed to England’s captain?

I believe the ref knew the England is still in a circle right before he blowed the time on whistle.


Thanks for the question Bly.

Deception and subterfuge are all part of the game in rugby.  Dummy runners, switch plays, quick throw in's and taking quick penalties while the opposition are not paying attention, are something we don't want to lose.

However the referee should not be part of this and should be above reproach.  In this instance the referee told the England Captain to talk to his players, this involves calling in the wingers and backs from some distance.  It is only common sense that you then have to give the players time to get back into position after they have been spoken to.  Calling time on when the players are still in a huddle is a bit of a 'gotcha' and most would say poor management by the referee.

I believe the referee himself has acknowledged that this was a mistake on his part.  We all make mistakes, it's how we learn, luckily most of us don't make them on such a large stage.

The Rugby Ref