Friday, November 23, 2007

International test fixture to be overhauled?

It's been a while since I posted. I am currently buried under work, and every week get a half-day to a day behind schedule, so rugby has been put on the backburner. I have been watching Heineken Cup matches, and meaning to write a big post-mortem on the World Cup, which is still pending. In the meantime, here's a juicy rumour, via Rugby Heaven:

Support growing for Test rugby shakeup

by Marc Hinton
November 23, 2007

The IRB will float a proposal to move rugby's traditional test match windows into one end-of-year time-frame at next week's ground-breaking conference in England - a move that has the conditional support of Australia among others.

All of rugby's key stakeholders will gather at a three-day IRB forum next week, with the aim of establishing a consensus over the way forward for international rugby.

At present test interaction between north and south takes place in two "windows", with northern hemisphere sides visiting the south in June/July and southern teams venturing north in November.

These are fitted in around established competitions such as the Tri-Nations and Six Nations.

But under one major proposal that will come up for discussion at the IRB conference in Woking, south-west of London, all test rugby outside of the established competitions would take place from September to November.

The added advantage this would have for the southern hemisphere nations is it would then allow them to move forward the start of the Super 14, and to extend the competition either by increasing the playoffs - a logical move - or even adding teams.

It would also allow for a more streamlined season, with the Super 14 flowing into the Tri-Nations which would then flow into the international component. It's a move that would also help create a more feasible off-season.

Read the rest.

Friday, November 02, 2007

S14: Experimental Law Variations (ELVs)

Steve Deanes of the New Zealand Herald tries to tackle the new ELVs (and no, we don't mean Legolas!):

New rules bound to confuse everyone

The likely introduction of at least some of the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) - or Stellenbosch Rules, as they are alternatively known - into Super and test rugby might be designed to make the game simpler and easier to understand, but the teething period ain't gonna be pretty.

The debate over which laws, if any, to introduce into the Super 14 is far from concluded.

On November 15, Sanzar will meet (actually they'll tele-conference, but you get the point) and discuss their response to the IRB's request that the Super 14 be used as a guinea pig for the ELVs.

As it stands, it's likely at least some of the ELVs will make their way into the competition.




Now positioned 2 metres back from touch, in line with the goal line and dead ball line.

If a maul becomes unplayable free kick to team not in possession at the start of the maul.

Truck and trailer is permitted when breaking away from a maul; not permitted in general play.


The offside line for backs (except the halfback) is now 5 metres behind the hindmost foot.


For all kick off and restart kicks, any infringement by the kicking team (e.g. player in front, ball kicked into touch on the full) will result in a free kick to the non offending team at the centre of the halfway line/22 metre line.


If a team passes or takes the ball back into the 22m area and then kicks the ball out on the full, the lineout is where the ball was kicked, unless a tackle has been made or a ruck or maul has formed.


A quick throw-in can be thrown backwards in the direction of the defender's goal line.

No maximum number of players in the lineout. Teams do not have to match numbers.

The receiver (halfback) must stand 2 metres back from the lineout.


Players must enter through the gate.

There are now offside lines at the tackle (extending the full width of the field).

If the ball is unplayable - free kick to team not in possession of the ball when the tackle took place.

Most offences at the tackle are now sanctioned with a free kick.

The halfback may not be touched unless he has his hands on the ball.

Players are permitted to use their hands in the ruck.

Players who deliberately or repeatedly offend any law are liable to penalty kick, yellow card, etc.


A maul can now be pulled down. This must be done by grasping a player between the shoulder and hips and bringing the maul to ground.

Players joining the maul must do so through the gate.