Ruling 6: 2009

Date: August 10, 2009
Ruling: 6 : 2009

Ruling Request from ARU Under 19 Variations – Law 20 1 (f)

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) seeks a ruling in respect of the following matters relating to the Under 19 Variations to Law 20.1(f):

  1. The U19 Law Variation refers to a team having fewer than eight players in its scrum when “…the team cannot field a complete team, or a player sent off for Foul Play, or a player leaves the field because of injury.” Does this Law Variation also apply if a player is cautioned and temporarily suspended (yellow card)?
  2. The U19 law Variation refers to both teams using reduced numbers of players in the scrum formation if “…a team is incomplete…” because it is without one, two or three players. No distinction is made between forward players and back players. If a No. 15 is sent off early in a match, must both teams play with seven players in the scrum, even though both teams still have eight players suitably trained and capable of playing in the scrum?
  3. If a team cannot field a complete team because it is short one or more forward player, but that team is able to provide from the available players suitably trained players to contest scrums, may the game proceed/continue with eight player scrums per team?

Ruling of the Designated Members
The complete team is a reference to having eight players who can play in the scrum. If a forward leaves the field of play for any reason and cannot be replaced due to injury, sending off, temporary suspension or any other reason then both teams must reduce the number of players in the scrum so that there are equal numbers.
If any player other than a forward has to leave the field for any reason and cannot be replaced there will be no reduction in the players playing in the scrum.
This will be referred to the Chairman of the Rugby Committee for the Law to be amended to provide clarity.

Yours sincerely
David Carrigy
Head of External & Member Relations

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