Earlier this year World Rugby approved a radical new format of the game which is set to be given a trial run at an event in London later this year.
The new format dubbed RugbyX is due to make its international debut launches at the 02 Arena in London on 29 October.
Masterminded by Fiji’s former Olympic gold medal-winning sevens coach Ben Ryan, the new format is to be a shorter, faster indoor version of sevens.
Just how well this is going to be accepted remains to be seen as the sevens has firmly entrenched itself as a shorter and speedy version of the normal game.
With the 7s already being included as a medal sports at the Olympics, World Rugby may just be stretching themselves too thin with a brand new untested format.
Hopes are that the five-a-side version would revolutionise the sport by boosting participation numbers at the grassroot levels, as well as the potential of attracting a new audience.
Rugby X consists of teams of five playing full contact, 10-minute long games with no half-time break, no lineouts, no re-starts and no conversion of tries, while scrum are uncontested.
England, Ireland and the Barbarians are among the teams confirmed for the inaugural tournament which involves both men and women’s teams.
To make the game more exciting, RugbyX will see the introduction of rugby’s version of the ‘Super Over’, with drawn matches decided by a revolutionary one-on-one contest.
In the event of a draw, a single attacker from one team will try and score past a single defender from the other.
The attacker will start with the ball 30 metres from the line, while the defender will begin 5 metres out, with a 10 second time limit.
Among the other confirmed laws:
- Kicking is allowed, but kicks must not exceed 10 metres in height, with the distance monitored by ball tracking technology.
- Seven rolling substitutes
- Quick throws replace line outs
- No touch kicking – tap penalties / free kick
- Kick-offs replaced by tap restarts on 5m line
- Three-person scrums, with hooking but no pushing
- Played on a pitch 32m x 55m
- Post try restarts from the goal line not half way line