It includes a ban for the crocodile roll tackle

World Rugby have confirmed three significant law changes that will come into effect from 1 July.

The three laws concerned are a change to Dupont’s law (offside rules from kicks in open play), banning crocodile rolls and a change around choices players have when given a free kick.

Read more: Law changes

The governing body have made the changes in a bid to enhance ball movement, expand attacking options and safeguard player welfare.

So what are the specific changes? The crocodile roll tackle has been banned and will see penalties or cards. The governing body was already cracking down on these tackles with England’s Sarah Beckett receiving a red card for one in the Women’s Six Nations.

The free kick rule will see players no longer able to call for a scrum. Instead they can kick the ball or tap.

Finally the offside law has changed so players cannot be put onside when the opposition catches a kicked ball by running five metres or passes. This means offside players must attempt to retreat. The rule has been changed to try and prevent a series of kicking between teams.

In addition to these changes World Rugby will also be staging more trials for potentially more law changes. They will be running the closed trials at competitions like the U20 World Championships.

The trials will focus on:

  • Revised on- and off-field sanctions process
  • Shot clock amendments
  • Protection of the nine at the base of the scrum, ruck and at the maul
  • Ability to mark the ball inside the 22m line from a restart
  • The ball must be played after the maul has been stopped once
  • Play on at a lineout if ball not thrown straight

There will also be “specialist working groups established for future innovations” with their work to be completed by November.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Personally, I believe that the law amendments and suite of closed trials will add to the entertainment factor. As with all trials, we will comprehensively review their effectiveness and take feedback from across the game.”

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on FacebookInstagram and Twitter/X.