News article

Why 2023 will be a big year as we celebrate 200 years of rugby

January 20 2023

Friends in rugby. This year, we celebrate 200 years of rugby. As legend has it, with a fine disregard for the rules of association football, William Webb Ellis caught the ball and ran with it. A sport was born.

Why 2023 will be a big year as we celebrate 200 years of rugby


It is with that same spirit of curiosity, enthusiasm and innovation that we begin what will be a massive year for rugby. There are so many reasons to be optimistic as we anticipate what will be a very special Rugby World Cup in France, the debut of WXV and make further decisive moves to advance the sport as a spectacle with player welfare firmly at its heart.

In a rapidly changing post-pandemic world, like all sports rugby must continue to evolve. Amidst accelerating demand for entertainment as well as growing concern around social and environmental issues, it is important rugby keeps moving forwards across everything from player welfare and fan engagement to financial and environmental sustainability if it is to become more attractive, more relevant and more accessible to more people and become a truly global sport.

It is with that global ambition that we begin 2023. New law directives came into effect on 1 January that are aimed at speeding the game up, enhancing safety and making the all-round experience better for players, fans and match officials. These directives include less reliance on the Television Match Official, less time-wasting ahead of scrums and lineouts and the implementation of ‘shot clocks’. Looking long-term, we can anticipate further, more substantive law changes at elite, community and youth levels aimed at further enhancing the spectacle, while underscoring our evidence-based commitment to player welfare.


To read the full release click on the link below


Read moreWorld Rugby

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