Rolling subs for Rugby Challenge

Coaches will be allowed to make rolling substitutions in this year’s Provincial Rugby Challenge, which kicks off this weekend.

On Friday, SA Rugby announced that teams will be allowed to use 12 rolling substitutions during each match, of which four must be reserved for players in the front row.

A unanimous decision – by the SA Rugby referees’ department and the head coaches from the all the provincial unions except the Blue Bulls, who were absent – was taken following law workshops held in Johannesburg and Cape Town where they discussed the use of a law amendment.

It was also agreed that any team that causes uncontested scrums will be reduced to 14 players on the field until the end of the match, while coaches will have the option of selecting four or five forwards on their seven-man bench.

‘The workshops were very interesting as it gave us an opportunity to listen to the coaches and how they see things happening on the field from a law and refereeing angle,’ said referees’ manager Banks Yantolo.

‘The decision to allow rolling substitutions, which we’re already using in our U19 Championship, was done with player welfare and safety – especially at scrum, as well as reducing the likelihood of uncontested scrums to protect the integrity of the game – in mind.’

PREVIEW: Rugby Challenge (Round 1)

Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt