World Rugby has instituted a series of minor rule changes in the northern hemisphere to banish all forms of simulation from the sport, the governing body says.
The amendments announced on the governing body’s website (www.worldrugby.org) on Wednesday were approved in September 2015 and have been in effect in the southern hemisphere since January.
The announcement follows officials at last year’s Rugby World Cup being instructed to sin-bin players who dived or feigned injury during matches.
The new rules state that “play acting or “simulation” is specifically outlawed in the game and that any player who dives or feigns injury in an effort to influence the match officials will be liable for sanction.
Another amendment says players who need to be substituted due to an injury following foul play will no longer count as one of their team’s six allotted replacements.
Other changes included the implementation of a maul law application guideline, which has been in place in the southern hemisphere since the start of the year.
“Specifically, the ball can be moved backwards hand-to-hand once the maul has formed,” the statement said.
“A player is not allowed to move or slide to the back of the maul when he is in possession of the ball and the ripper needs to stay in contact with the jumper until they have transferred the ball. Sanction: Penalty.”
World Rugby has opted to take the changes global ahead of several upcoming test matches between sides in the northern and southern hemispheres.
England are scheduled to play a three-match test series in Australia starting on June 11, while Wales tour New Zealand during the month.