World Rugby has announced that it will no longer be possible to score a try by grounding the ball against the post protector.
The minor amendment to Law 8 was approved by the World Rugby Council during its special meeting held via teleconference on Tuesday and follows a recommendation by the international federation’s rugby committee and specialist laws review group.
With defending players currently legally obliged to stay behind the goalline and post-protector shape and size increasing for welfare reasons, it is increasingly difficult for teams to legally defend this area.
In some extreme cases, post protectors have been lifted or moved by defending teams, leaving the posts exposed and therefore increasing the risk of injury.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: ‘World Rugby’s mission is to make the game as simple, safe and enjoyable to play as possible. This law amendment reflects that mission.
‘By stipulating that an attacking team can no longer score against the post protector and therefore must ground the ball in-goal, this gives defending teams a fair chance of preventing a try from being scored.’
The amended law will now read: ‘The post protector is no longer an extension of the goalline and therefore Law 8.2 (a) will read: A try is scored when the attacking player a) is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal.’
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