New Zealand
NPC matches to feature two refs as part of World Rugby trial
ESPN Staff
December 17, 2015
© Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Rugby union pitches could soon be home to two referees rather than one if a proposed trial of rule changes in New Zealand proves successful.

According to a report on, World Rugby will use next year's national provincial championship to try-out a host of tweaks to how the breakdown is officiated.

Under the proposals a second referee will be used who the report suggests will have the responsibility of officiating a new offside law at the breakdown.

How a ruck - or 'breakdown' as it will be termed - is formed will also be tweaked, with only one attacker required over the ball.

Attacking and defending players will no longer be required to enter the breakdown through the 'gate' but must be deemed to be onside when doing so, and will not be able to attempt to get their hands on the ball.

The tackler would also no longer have 360 degree rights to the ball, while the new offside line would be drawn one metre behind the hindmost foot in the breakdown.

According to the report these changes are designed to encourage counter-rucking from the defending side.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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