Rugby World Cup rule changes 2023

World Rugby are also looking for the best ways to improve the game and one of the ways in which they do that is by bringing rule changes to the game. So what changes have World Rugby made for the 2023 Rugby World Cup?

Rugby World Cup rule changes 2023. The Rule changes brought to the 2023 Rugby World Cup include shot clocks on kickers, Orange card intervention and eligibility regulation changes.

There have really been several key rule changes made to international rugby since the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Most of these rules changes are designed to either make the game faster or make the game safer. So let’s take a look at some of the big rules changes heading into this tournament.

Rugby Shot Clock rule change

One of the major changes that has been introduced to international rugby in the 12 months prior to the 2023 Rugby World Cup is the introduction of a shot clock. World Rugby believed that the game was too slow and often kickers were taking too long to actually kick the ball.

So to speed the game up, a shot clock has been introduced to kickers. What it means is that referees will now give kickers 90 seconds from when a try is awarded to attempt the conversion. They will also have a 60 second timer for penalties, from the time that the referee signals a shot at goal.

Quite often, the TV broadcast has started to show the shot clock on the broadcast to help fans. Kicking is not the only thing that will now have a time limit on it. There is also going to be a limit on how long it takes for a lineout and scrum to form.

Referees will expect lineouts and scrums to take no longer than 30 seconds to form after the mark is set. There is a good chance that a free kick or a penalty is given away if one team does not get into the correct position in time.

The whole idea behind these rules changes is to try to speed the game up. World Rugby believes that to make the game more exciting, it needs to be quicker with less stoppages. By speeding up the set pieces, you can speed up the entire game and hopefully make it better viewing for spectators.

Orange card rule change in Rugby World Cup

One of the major rule changes brought in prior to the 2023 Rugby World Cup is the introduction of the Orange card. Now this rule sounds a little bit misleading because there is not actually an orange card which the referee can hand out.

Instead, what it means is that when a player commits a foul that could be worth a red card, the referee only has to judge whether it meets the yellow card threshold. If it meets the yellow card threshold then the player will go off for 10 minutes.

During the 10 minutes the player is off the pitch, the TMO bunker will review the incident and see whether the yellow card needs to be upgraded to a red card. If it does, then the TMO can instruct the referee to upgrade the yellow card to a red card.

If it is not worth a red card then the player will return to the field once the ten minutes of the yellow card have run out. The idea has been trialled in international games before being introduced at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

When you think about it, it is actually a very smart rule change by World Rugby. One of the advantages of the rule change is that it speeds up the game. Referees just have to decide whether an offence is worth a yellow card, instead of whether it is worthy of a yellow or a red card.

There is some hope that this will also help the officials make more accurate decisions. The TMO bunker will have the opportunity to take their time over a decision, usually getting around 8 minutes to confirm whether an offence is worthy of a red card or a yellow card.

Having this extra time and no pressure from the crowd should make it more likely for the TMO to make the correct call. Referees still have the power to issue a full red card in the case of deliberate foul play. This is not affected by the rule changes that World Rugby implemented.

Rugby World Cup eligibility rule changes

One of the things that you might notice at the 2023 Rugby World Cup is that players who appeared for an international team previously could be playing for a completely different team at this tournament.

Since the 2019 competition, World Rugby passed a law which said that a player can switch the country they play for, if they have not played international rugby for three years. The rule change had been something proposed for quite a few years and World Rugby made the change quite recently.

It means that a lot of internationals who could have been representing one country at the previous tournament will be playing for a different international team at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The Pacific Island teams are the ones that have benefited the most from the rule change.

Adam Coleman was in the Australia squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Having not played for the Wallabies since 2019, he is heading into the 2023 tournament as part of the Tongan squad. Coleman will play alongside former Australia teammates Lopeti Timani and Israel Folau, as well as former All Blacks Malakai Fekitoa and Charles Piutau.

Samoa are able to call on former All Blacks Steven Luatua and Lima Sopoaga because of the rule change implemented by World Rugby. They even have 2015 Rugby World Cup winning prop Charlie Faumuina in their squad for the 2023 tournament.

It has made the Pacific Nations teams a lot more competitive and should make them teams to be feared in the years to come.

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