Cape Town - The times, they are a changing ... and that is certainly the case in this year's edition of the Varsity Cup.
The tournament gets underway on Monday, February 8 and will implement some major rule changes that will see up to nine points being awarded for a try.
Rugby365 reported the news, breaking up the rule changes into the following categories:
A try is still worth five points, but there will be bonus points allocated depending on where the move started.
If a team scores from a move that started between the halfway line and the opponent's 22m line, then the scoring team will be awarded two bonus points - to make the score worth seven.
If the move starts in the attacking side's own half and they keep possession throughout and score, then four bonus points will be allocated - to make the try worth nine points.
The referee's instructions at scrum time will now be: "Crouch, bind, slide".
Props will bind onto each other, but not on the armpit or below the middle of the rib area. Once they have their binds, they will not be able to change their grips and they must also line up ear-to-ear as opposed to head-to-head.
Once the 'slide' call is given the front rows will make contact.
Once the referee has decided that the scrum is stable he will instruct the scrumhalf to feed the ball.
If a maul stops moving forwards, the referee will ask for it to do so. The attacking team will then have five seconds to get the maul moving forwards. If they fail to do so the referee will count aloud to three and the attacking team must produce the ball in that time. Failure to do so will result in a scrum to the defending team.
NOTE: The above changes will only be tested in the Varsity Cup and
will not affect the Varsity Shield, Koshuis Cup or the Young Guns.