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RFU welcomes IRB ELV Conference recommendations

31 March 2009

March 31, 2009

THE Rugby Football Union has welcomed the recommendations of the IRB ELV Conference that the Experimental Law Variations allowing collapsing the maul and unrestricted numbers in the line-out are not incorporated into Law.

Following extensive consultation, including 7,761 online questionnaire responses, and technical analysis of 153 matches from competitions around the world, the RFU, along with its fellow Six Nations unions, were at the forefront of the debate on ELVs.

The IRB ELV Conference today decided that ELVs 2, 3 (maul) and 6 (unrestricted line-out numbers), would not be recommended to the IRB Rugby Committee on April 27 for adoption into Law.

In addition, the Sanctions ELVs which have been trialled in the Southern Hemisphere will also not be carried forward to the Rugby Committee and there will be a single Law book from August 1 with an end to further experimentation until after RWC 2011.

Chris Cuthbertson, RFU Council Member for Middlesex and Chair of the RFU's ELV Task Group, said: "The Conference was constructive and positive about the way forward and credit should go to the IRB for organising it. As a Union we have been extremely methodical in both our consultation with those who play, coach, referee and support the game and in our technical analysis of club, provincial and international rugby around the world.

"We have worked closely with the other Six Nations unions to paint as accurate a picture as possible of the impact that the ELVs have had. We presented that to the Conference and we are delighted that they have taken our views on board.

"The whole idea of the ELVs is to improve the sport and while we support the majority of the globally trialled ELVs, the feedback from the Game and our game analysis indicates that pulling down the maul and unrestricted numbers in the line-out have not improved the game."

The RFU's recommendation for up to 15 minutes at half-time will also be carried forward to the Rugby Committee.

The RFU gave people across the Game the opportunity to express their views

Pre global implementation
Online survey between April 24 and May 9 2008 (2 weeks)
17,438 completed questionnaires

Post global implementation
Online survey between October 10 and December 17 (10 weeks)

7,761 respondents
1,681 players
647 referees
282 parents
489 volunteers
3,883 supporters
779 coaches

Direct feedback
300 separate feedback emails

Direct consultation
12 Guinness Premiership clubs
148 clubs
29 Constituent Bodies
138 PRA members
16 Elite officials
28 National Panel officials
13 members of Elite Rugby Department

Technical evaluation
Detailed technical analysis of 153 games, including Tri Nations, Autumn Internationals, Heineken Cup, Guinness Premiership, Magners League, French Top 14, Italian Super 10 has been carried out covering played under existing law and under the ELVs (including in the case of the Tri Nations and Super 14 games played under the Sanction ELVs).
The technical analysis has focused on how the ELVs have affected kicking from hand, the scrum, the lineout and the breakdown.