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‘Shot clock’ among new World Rugby directives designed to speed up game

22 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Wales’ skipper Dan Biggar. Photo David Davies PA images

World Rugby has issued a number of law directives designed to speed up the game including a ‘shot clock’ for kickers.

The new protocols that come into effect on January 1 are being implemented in response to concerns that the sport is suffering as a spectacle due to breaks in play caused by the likes of reset scrums and TMO consultations.

It is hoped the changes will “support a quicker, more entertaining game while balancing safety and spectacle”.

Time wasting

Existing laws governing this area must now be strictly adhered to, including free-kicks issued for time wasting and delayed line-outs and scrums.

In addition, competitions including the forthcoming Six Nations will be urged to introduce a shot clock for kickers, counting down the 90 seconds allocated for a conversion and 60 seconds for a penalty.

“World Rugby, member unions and competitions will work with broadcasters and match hosts to implement on-screen (stadia and broadcast) shot clocks for penalties and conversions to ensure referees, players and fans can view the countdown,” World Rugby director of rugby Phil Davies said.

Match officials will also be more sparing in their consultations with the TMO and make quicker decisions amid a reminder that replays are for “identifying and ensuring clear and obvious offences”.

Existing limitations on water carrier numbers and interventions have been deemed a success, but they will now be restricted further by being permitted to enter the field only when a try is scored.

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