Tries can no longer be scored in rugby by grounding the ball against a post protector, the sport’s governing body said on Tuesday.
World Rugby said it was becoming “difficult for teams to legally defend this area” because of the increasing size and shape of post protectors for safety reasons.
In some cases, World Rugby said, defending teams were lifting or moving the protectors and leaving the posts exposed, increasing the risk of injury.
The issue was highlighted last November when Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman lifted the padding around a post on his tryline to prevent Munster from scoring a try against the post. He was reprimanded by the referee for exposing the posts dangerously but not penalised. Some coaches called for sanctions around the rule.
The law change was recommended in March at a player welfare symposium in Paris, and approved by the World Rugby Council at a meeting on Tuesday.
The ball must be grounded in the in-goal area or on the line for a try to be awarded.
The amendment takes effect immediately.
Schoeman reacted to the news with a humorous tweet which showed him lifting the post protector, with the message, “can’t wait for the lockdown to be lifted”.