When the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off in Cardiff this year, a host of law amendments come into force in the northern hemisphere for the very first time.
The adjustments, approved and announced in September 2015, come into effect from July 1 having already been implemented in the southern hemisphere since the start of the year.
After getting underway in Cardiff, the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series makes its first ever stop at Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park, before trips to Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons – with the Series Final at the Ricoh Arena on August 6.
The 2015 Champions Newport Gwent Dragons will kick off the 2016 series on July 22 as the four Welsh Pro teams go head-to-head in an exciting afternoon of summer derby rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
And when the Dragons begin their title defence, the following law amendments will have come into effect:
– The replacement of a player injured following foul play does not count as one of the allotted number of replacements available to that team
– Advantage may be played following a scrum collapse if there is no risk to player safety
– Play acting or "simulation” is specifically outlawed in the game in a move that formalises resistance to a practice that has been creeping into the game in recent years. Any player who dives or feigns injury in an effort to influence the match officials will be liable for sanction
– Teams must be ready to form a scrum within 30 seconds of the scrum being awarded, unless the referee stops the clock for an injury or another stoppage
– At a re-set scrum following a 90-degree wheel, the ball is thrown in by the team that previously threw it in rather than the team not in possession
– The scrum-half of the team not in possession at a scrum may not move into the space between the flanker and number eight
– When the ball has been at the number eight's feet in a stationary scrum for 3-5 seconds, the referee will call "use it” and the attacking team must use the ball immediately
In addition, an important maul law application guideline, that has been in place in the southern hemisphere since 1 January, will be enforced in the north from 1 June. Specifically, the ball can be moved backwards hand-to-hand once the maul has formed. A player is not allowed to move or slide to the back of the maul when he is in possession of the ball and the ripper needs to stay in contact with the jumper until they have transferred the ball. Sanction: Penalty.
Tickets for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series are now on sale at premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets