scoring at the base of rugby posts now outlawed

Would NFL style posts be safer for rugby?

New Law Change Stops Tries Against Posts

World Rugby has announced that, with immediate effect, it will no longer be possible to score a try by grounding the ball against the post protector.

Could we be heading towards a replacement for the iconic H style rugby posts?

The minor amendment to Law 8 was approved by the World Rugby Council during its special meeting held via teleconference today and follows a recommendation by the international federation’s Rugby Committee and specialist Laws Review Group.

With defending players currently legally obliged to stay behind the goal-line and post-protector shape and size increasing for welfare reasons, it is increasingly difficult for teams to legally defend this area.

In some extreme cases, post protectors have been lifted or moved by defending teams, leaving the posts exposed and therefore increasing the risk of injury.

The amended law will now read: The post protector is no longer an extension of the goal-line and therefore Law 8.2 (a) will read: A try is scored when the attacking player is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“World Rugby’s mission is to make the game as simple, safe and enjoyable to play as possible. This law amendment reflects that mission.”

“By stipulating that an attacking team can no longer score against the post protector and therefore must ground the ball in-goal, this gives defending teams a fair chance of preventing a try from being scored.”

Is there now a need to look at the shape of rugby posts?

There has been chat amongst the rugby community of re-designing the posts so that the bottom half of the posts are placed on the dead ball line and arch forward so that the top half of the posts are in line with the try line, looking more like NFL posts instead of the traditional H style rugby union posts.

From a safety point of view, this would certainly tick those boxes as it would eliminate any danger on the try line that would normally be caused by the base of the padded posts. Kicking doesn’t look like it would be affected either.

What are your thoughts? Would you welcome a new style rugby post similar to American Football?

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