The Irish Rugby Football Union has welcomed the decision by the International Rugby Board Council to approve a global trial of selected Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) for a 12-month period.
After considering the programme for the implementation of the ELVs, which will see 13 of the proposed 23 laws being trialled at all levels of the game in Ireland, the IRFU believes that these changes to the laws will be a positive development for the game.
Commenting on the decision, Owen Doyle, who heads up the IRFU’s Laws Technical group which is charged with assessing the laws of the game in Ireland, said: “Overall we are happy with the outcome of the IRB Council decision and we feel that it represents a measured and sensible approach to implementing what we hope will be a positive development for rugby.
“We feel that the 13 ELVs, which were approved for a full global trial and are being used for next season, will allow for a more open and attacking game, while not compromising the unique aspects of rugby, particularly in relation to the continuity of the game.
“The decision to trial the remaining ELVs which relate to sanctions, the tackle and ruck area and also the maul in a selected competition will allow us to further examine the effects of these laws.
“Any law changes to the game represent a significant undertaking in terms of education of referees, coaches and most importantly players. The IRFU will be working to ensure that the ELVs being trialled transition as smoothly as possible into all playing levels.”
For details of the Experimental Law Variations which will be trialled worldwide from August 1 next, please click here.