The International Rugby Board is introducing a trial, new way of making substitutes during a match. This experiment will apply to the November Tests.
It is like the soccer procedure to make matters easier for the 4th and 5th match official to regulate the comings and goings of players, which is sometimes a busy and confusing process.
The new procedure will require substituted players to have left the playing area (i.e. the field of play plus the ingoal areas) before the substitute takes the field. The substitute will then enter the playing field from the touch-line at the half-way line.
The exception to this is when an injured player is taken off the field by medical staff. The replacement then need not wait till the injured player has crossed the touch-line, touch-in-goal line or dead-ball line.
The law governing the number of players on the field still obtains. If a team has more than 15 players on the field the referee will penalise the team and require the team’s captain to remove a player.
A thorough consultation process involving Unions and match officials will take place after the trial to provide feedback for the IRB Council to consider whether to adopt the trial protocol into the GameTweet