Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

ELVs – rugby coaching lessons by David Clarke

The ELVs will affect your rugby tactics and you need to decide how you will change your coaching and rugby drills.

Many of us have no firsthand experience of the new laws in action, so it is important to glean as much information from those who have. One way is to look some video footage to understand which rugby techniques you are going to adjust.

There are 13 ELVs, Experimental Law Variations, to take into account. The iRB produced a promotional video of all the ELVs, so we must make sure we know which ones are going to be used before we get too lost in the all the drama.

ELV summary

1. Lineout numbers: the defence does not need to match the attack, as long as they have at least two.

2. The defending hooker must be 2m away from the front of the lineout if standing in the 5m channel.

3. The receiver at the lineout (normally 9) needs to be 2m from the lineout.

4. A ball kicked from the 22m has no gain in ground if it goes into touch if it was passed back into 22m unless there is a subsequent breakdown.

5. Lifting is allowed.

6. Both teams must be 5m back from the hindmost feet of the rugby scrum until the ball has left the scrum. A defending scrum half must stay in close proximity to the scrum or move back 5m.

7. Touching the corner flag does not mean the player has gone into touch.

8. A quick throw in does not need to be straight.

9. A maul can be brought down by tackling above the hips.

Not all the laws apply to you

At U19 and below, individual unions can decide on what laws they want to apply to each age group. The RFU has already decided that the maul pull down is not appropriate for the U19 English game at this stage.

But it will apply to all the senior teams.

Coaching lessons

1. Don’t ignore the basic techniques because the principles of the game remain the same.

2. Kick and chase is crucial. (see the June issue of Rugby Coach published on Wednesday 13th June)

3. Lineout variations will still apply.

4. Mauling is NOT dead, just more dynamic.

5. Back row moves and backs moves are more important than before.

6. Teams will still need rugby coaches – someone will have to work out what to do next!


Dan Cottrell


1 Comment so far
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you need some more backs moves in video

Comment by Jacob Weakley

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