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MAN OFF in Level 5 and below League Matches

(b) In League Matches at Level 5 and below, each team must have and nominated in advance at least four suitably trained and experienced front row Players in their nominated match squad, all at least eighteen years old (unless otherwise permitted pursuant to RFU Regulation 15) to ensure that:

• on the first occasion that a replacement hooker or a replacement prop is required the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.


Note: As set out in World Rugby Law 3, the replacement of a front row playermust come from the suitably trained and experienced Players who started the match or from nominated replacements. A Player otherthan a nominated front row player is permitted to play in the frontrow only when uncontested scrums are being played and there are no available front row replacements.



Effective from 1 August 2015

13. Uncontested Scrums

(a) The Referee shall order uncontested scrums when: (i) a front row Player is required to be replaced if, having made enquiry of andhaving confirmed with the captain of the team (or such other person nominated by the Club as the manager or other person responsiblefor the team), there is no suitably trained and experienced front row replacement who started the match or from the nominated replacements in accordance with paragraphs 12 and 13 above; or (ii) the Referee deems it unsafe for any other reason to start or continue the Match with contested scrums, in which case paragraph 16 below will apply.

(b) In League Matches at Levels 3 and below, Cup Matches and Play-Off Matches if on any occasion uncontested scrums are ordered by the Referee, in accordance with (a)(i) above, due to injury (including a temporary blood injury) or consequent to a Player being temporarily suspended or ordered off or for any other reason, the team concerned shall not be entitled to replace the Player whose departure caused the uncontested scrum. On the return to the field of a front row Player who has been temporarily excluded the Match shall continue with contested scrums provided it is safe to do so. Subject to paragraph 16 , the result of the match shall stand.


The annual review of the RFU Regulations has resulted in some key changes in addition to a number of minor amendments. The key changes are set out below:

Regulation 1 (Definitions): "England Academy Player": The definition has been amended to make sure it is entirely clear which conditions must be met for a player to be classified as an England Academy Player.

"Transfer Deadline": The transfer deadline date is Friday 28th February 2014.

Regulation 7 (Players)

Regulation 7.1 – Approaches to players: A player who is under contract may not be approached or induced to leave the existing club unless such approach is made in the final six months of the term of the player’s contract.

Regulation 13 (Adult Competitions):

Regulations 13.2.6 to 13.2.8 – Promotion and Relegation: This entire section has been redrafted and restructured so as to provide more clarity on the principles of promotion and relegation.

Regulation 13.5.11 - Uncontested scrums: Amended to allow referees to also order uncontested scrums if they deem it unsafe for any other reason to start or continue the match with contested scrums.

Regulation 13.5.12 – 13.5.14 - Uncontested scrums: Amended to clarify the procedure in cases where a league match or a cup match is completed or contains uncontested scrums.

Regulations 13.5.16 and 13.5.21 Rolling Subs: Amended to clarify that: (a) 8 interchanges are permitted when a team has up to 3 replacements; and (b) a player must enter the field on the halfway line.

Regulations 13.6.6(a)(v) and 13.6.6(b)(iv) - Postponed matches: These regulations have been amended to clarify the procedure in relation to late decisions as to the fitness of a pitch.

Appendix 1 - Sanction Guidelines: A sanction guideline has been included in respect of any failure to provide a completed Player Registration Form in accordance with RFU Regulation 14 when completing online player registrations.

Regulation 14 (Adult Registration)

Regulation 14.3.1(b) - Effective Registration: Amended to make it clear that Effective Registration is subject to any subsequent loss or invalidity of such registration pursuant to the other provisions of these Regulations and is not valid if a player has obtained Effective Registration through fraud, deception or mistake.

Regulations 14.5.1, 14.5.5 and 14.6.1 - Registration Process: Amended to make it clear that registration forms must be submitted within 28 days of signature of the registration form by the player.

Regulation 14.9.1(e) - Loss of Effective Registration: Amended to clarify the position of an overseas player in a team that is relegated from league 4 to 5 (i.e. he has to file an amateur status declaration to stay registered upon the expiry of his visa/permit).

Regulation 15 (Age Grade Rugby)

Regulations 15.3.3 and 15.3.4 - Dual age banding: Amended to permit dual age banding of U11s with U10s is to be permitted, in the same way as it is for U12s/U11s and U10s/U9s.

Regulation 15.4.2 - Playing down: Amended to state that if a player is permitted to play down, the player must remain in that age grade for the entire season save that if appropriate the player may move back up into the original age grade during the season as long as the player does not play down again during the same season.

Regulation 15.6.3 - Season: Amended to clarify that during the Season, U7s to U12s can participate in training and Pre-Approved Activity up until and including the fourth Saturday after the start of the Season and can participate in training, Pre-Approved Activity, fixtures and festivals from the fifth Sunday after the start of the Season.

Regulations 15.9.4 and 15.9.5 - National Festivals: Amended to state that approval requests for National Schools’ Festivals and National Clubs’ Festivals must be made no later than 3 months prior to the date of the proposed festivals.

Regulation 15.12.1 - Pitch Sizes: Amended to reflect the slightly amended pitch sizes introduced by the mandatory New Rules of Play.

Regulation 15.13.3 - Eye wear: Amended to clarify that players can wear glasses or goggles at: (a) U8s and below; and (b) in all other non-contact versions of rugby regardless of age.

Regulation 15.14.2 - Match Durations: Amended to provide clarification on match durations including: (a) stating that no more than 90 minutes of match time should be played in any one day; and (b) clarifying match durations for festivals and tournaments.

Regulation 17

(Anti-Corruption and Betting) On 3 January 2013 the IRB’s new anti-corruption regulation came into force. RFU Regulation 17 has therefore been amended to bring it in line with IRB Regulation 6.

Regulation 19

Regulation 19 has undergone a detailed review to ensure that the principles of IRB Regulation 17 are reflected, to remove unnecessary regulations and to ensure that the regulations reflect what actually happens in practice.

Regulation 21

A number of amendments have been made to RFU Regulation 21 to reflect the renaming of the Criminal Records Bureau as the Disclosure and Barring Service and to take into account the Child Protection Unit’s model regulations. Please bear in mind that this is a summary of key changes only and cannot be relied upon in any interpretation of the regulations or in any dispute or appeal. Reference should be made to the full Regulations, which took effect on 1st August 2013, and which are printed in full in the RFU Handbook and available on the RFU website at

Should you have any questions on RFU Regulations, please contact Alys Lewis on