Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
Law Reference: 3, 5, 8
Date: 10 July '12
The RFU requests clarification for the following:
A player who leaves a match because of injury or any other reason must not rejoin the match until the
referee permits the player to return. The referee must not let a player return until ball is dead.
If time expires and the ball is not dead or an awarded scrum or lineout has not been completed, the
referee allows play to continue until the next time that the ball becomes dead. The ball becomes dead
when the referee would have awarded a scrum, lineout, an option to the non?offending team, drop out
or after a conversion or successful penalty kick at goal. If a scrum has to be reset, the scrum has not
been completed. If time expires and a mark, free kick or penalty kick is then awarded, the referee allows
play to continue.
After the ball has been made dead. Advantage cannot be played after the ball has been made dead.
1. Team A have a player waiting to return from a temporary exclusion and the period of exclusion has
expired. They kick the ball into touch. Team B wish to take a quick lineout. Does the referee allow the
quick lineout or allow the player from Team A to return to the field?
2. Same scenario but a substitution has been asked for rather than the end of a temporary exclusion
Clarification of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee
Law 3.11(b) states that “A player who leaves a match because of injury or any other reason must not
rejoin the match until the referee permits the player to return. The referee must not let a player rejoin a
match until the ball is dead.”
The referee in such circumstances is entitled to allow a team to take a quick throw?in. If the referee
allows a quick throw?in, the player who has been temporarily suspended or replaced will be permitted