Internationals

World Rugby announce rule changes

Sanctions for play acting or simulation are among the rule changes to be brought into effect in northern hemisphere rugby union from the start of next month.

World Rugby on Wednesday announced minor amendments to regulations to match up with changes made in the southern hemisphere last year.

Players deemed to have dived or feigned injury will face punishment and the replacement of a player injured as a result of foul play will not count as one of a team's allotted number of replacements.

Referees will be able to play an advantage after the collapse of a scrum provided there is no risk to the safety of a player.

Teams must also be ready to scrum down within 30 seconds of a scrum being awarded, although that will not be the case if the referee stops the clock for an injury or another reason.

Another new ruling regarding the scrum will be that the ball will be thrown in for a reset-scrum by the other team than initially had the put in if the referee blows up for a 90-degree wheel.

A scrum-half from the team not in possession at a scrum will no longer be allowed to move into the gap between flanker and number eight and a referee will call "use it" when the ball has been at a number eight's feet for three to five seconds.

World Rugby revealed that the existing rules will remain in place for the June Tests, aside from the maul regulations, but all of the new regulations will come into effect as of July 1.