Guide to new laws as The Premier 15s return
The Premier 15s will return this weekend for the first time since it was suspended and the Rugby Football Union have announced several law changes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The law variations have been put in place as the league will not have testing available to them.
The new rules will remain in place for the first nine rounds and will be reviewed at the half-way point in the season to see if they need to remain in place.
Each game will be shortened by ten minutes, ie two 35-minute halves to ‘mitigate the risk’ of players spreading Covid-19.
The RFU have also said the time reduction is because there will be fewer stoppages in the game, due to reduction in scrums and mauls, and so the matches will be much faster and they believe less time on the field will look after player welfare.
The governing body have said the new rules with scrums will reduce the amount they are used in a game by over 75 per cent.
Clubs will now have a play-advantage from a knock on instead of setting up a scrum.
While free kicks will be awarded to the opposing team if a forward pass occurs which the RFU have said will reduce face-to-face contact by six per cent.
And there will not be an option to have a scrum when a team are awarded a penalty or a free kick, reducing face-to-face contact by seven per cent.
The league will also see a reduction in mauls and the amount of players allowed to commit to the play.
A maul can now only have one stop and then teams must use the ball to reduce the amount of time a maul occurs.
No players who are not involved in the line out before the maul is created can join the set piece to reduce the amount of players in the maul.
Mauls will only be allowed to occur in the 22m zone of the field to reduce the amount of mauls throughout a match.
Strict social distancing guidelines have been put in place for when the ball is not in play.
There are set water breaks, named water bottles and limited face-to-face warm-ups.