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Clarification 2016-3

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Ruling 3-2016
Union / HP Ref Manager WRU
Law reference 3
Date 25th August 2016
Following on from the recent Law Clarification 2 – 2016 (Law 3.14) further clarification is sought by the WRU as to the following scenario:

Scenario – Red No.3 (TH) is injured and replaced by No.18 (declared TH cover). No.18 then gets injured as a direct result of foul play. No.18 can be replaced but Red has no recognized TH on the bench and, as such, would have to go to uncontested scrums. Law 3.6(d) states that a player whose departure causes the referee to order uncontested scrums cannot be replaced.

In the above scenario, can the Red team now continue for the remainder of the game, however long it may be, with 15 players – due to the fact the replacement TH has been injured as a direct result of foul play – which has to be verified by the match officials, or do they reduce to 14 (as per Law 3.6(d))? This scenario can relate to any member of the front row.

It is noted that if the above were to arise then front row replacements must be used first for uncontested scrums.

The WRU view is that the game should continue with equal numbers and Law 3.6(d) is not enforced. There is a direct correlation with HIA albeit a time constraint.

Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
The Designated Members have reviewed this request for clarification and the below are the relevant responses.

In this scenario the Red team can continue with 15 players. The new clause to 3.14 was added so as to not disadvantage a team that had lost a player due to foul play. Law 3.14 should supersede Law 3.6(d) in the unusual situation where a front row player has been injured as a direct result of foul play.