Six Nations rule changes 2023 – what new laws have been confirmed for this year’s competition?
THE Six Nations is now just around the corner – but there are some new laws fans will have to get used to.
While the tournament will not see sweeping rule changes like that which is set to affect the community game, lawmakers have introduced some tweaks for this year.
PAFrance are looking to defend their title following last year’s win[/caption]
They may present a new challenge to the countries competing for Six Nations success.
They include England who will begin their new era under Steve Borthwick and Wales who have welcomed back head coach Warren Gatland.
Meanwhile France will be aiming to be the first back-to-back winners of the tournament since 2017.
A shot clock has been introduced by World Rugby to help speed up the game.
Already in use in France’s Top 14 league, the shot clock will see players have a limited amount of time to complete on-field actions.
This includes having 90 seconds to convert a try and a minute for penalties.
The move is intended to cut down on stoppages and time-wasting during a game.
Reduce reliance on TMOs
World Rugby are also aiming to cut down on the use of television match officials (TMOs).
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First introduced back in 2001, long before football introduced VAR, rugby union has used TMOs to help on-field referees reach the right decision.
But officials are being reminded ahead of the Six Nations that TMOs are meant to address clear and obvious errors rather than be involved in lengthy reviews.
Penalising negative actions
Referees are being instructed to penalise negative actions by players which could otherwise escape attention.
This includes trapping players in a ruck and not attempting to play the ball during a turnover.
A World Rugby statement said: “Players are reminded about their responsibilities not to hold the ball or walk off with the ball at penalties – this reduces attacking options by the non-offending team and slows the game down unnecessarily and will be sanctioned.”
Water carrier interventions
Water will only be allowed to be carried onto the field after a try is scored, according to new rules.
Previously any stoppage could see water carriers enter the field of play.
But a global trial has found reducing the amount of times they can come on has reduced stoppages in play.
In games with no tries, water carriers can come on twice per half at pre-agreed times.