New Rugby Law Trials Give Northern Hemisphere The Advantage Says Wayne Barnes

First in line.

Leading rugby referee Wayne Barnes reckons the northern hemisphere will have an advantage over their southern counterparts when it comes to the new laws being trialled.

Several new laws, including a number that affect the scrum and ruck, have been introduced in Europe since Aug 1 but will not come into effect in the southern hemisphere until January 1.

Barnes reckons when the November schedule comes around, northern players we be well versed in the new laws, while the travelling southern teams will be forced to adapt.


“Unfortunately for the southern hemisphere, but fortunately for us, come November they’ll be playing under our laws so they’ve got to get used to them,” Barnes told The Telegraph.
“If we get a small advantage up here, I’m sure the coaches will try to use it,”

Barnes and several RFU referees are already working closely with Eddie Jones and his England team to get them up to speed.

“We all know that Eddie has a keen eye for detail and he will be keen for us to just add to that environment.
“We will go in and support them, whether it is me, JP (Doyle) or Matt (Carley) will be in every single one of their training sessions…. so when they have their contact sessions they get used to how they are being refereed.”

The Lions were also forced to adapt to new laws on tour this summer, with some of them in place in Super Rugby since the beginning of the year. They brought in specialists in this case and Barnes reckons the likes of Australia and the All Blacks will do the same for November.

“The Lions hadn’t played under those laws so they got experts in to help them and speak to them in trial matches in the lead up to it,” Barnes added. “I’m sure Australia and New Zealand will be doing the same.
“New Zealand start with the Barbarians out here which helps obviously and it will take them time. They’re the best players in world and the top six teams in the sport are playing each other.
“If we get a small advantage up here, I’m sure the coaches will try to use it. But I don’t think it will take long for the visiting teams to work it out.



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