Australian rugby is set to return with a new attacking flare when the five-team Australian Super Rugby tournament kicks off on July 3 with seven new rules.

The rules are experimental and have been signed off by coaches, players, referees coaches and administrators, but have a distinct rugby league flare.

Super Rugby Australia will operate under the same red card replacement and "Super Time" for tied matches rules as Super Rugby Aotearoa but have also made further amendments.

Those include goal line dropouts instead of five metre scrums when an attacking player is held up in-goal or knock on over the tryline, limits on scrum re-sets, as well as a 50/22 and 22/50 rule where the kicking team can earn a lineout with a kick that bounces into touch.


Super Rugby Aotearoa: Beauden Barrett to start at fullback in Blues' clash against Hurricanes at Eden Park
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Beauden Barrett tipped for Blues debut from fullback
Premium - The Business of Rugby: Part 1 - Where has all of New Zealand Rugby's money gone?
Rugby: Former All Blacks captain Ian Kirkpatrick's warning for World Rugby bosses

Rugby Australia Director of Rugby Scott Johnson said the rules were to add "some new attacking dimensions to the game".

"The level of engagement was outstanding from the players and coaches involved in the process and we ended up with a set of law variations that were unanimously agreed upon by all 24 people involved," he said in a press release.

"A couple of the variations including the 50/22 and 22/50s have been trialled previously in the NRC and we have added some principles around line dropouts to encourage more short attacking kick options near the line, and a Super Time tie-breaker in the event of a draw.

"We will also zero in on the application of law around the breakdown and scrums, trying to limit some of the down time and improve the flow of the game.

"Throughout the process we stuck to the principle that whatever we changed, the game still had to be Rugby, and nothing could compromise the Wallabies' preparation for Test Rugby. In fact, I believe the changes we have implemented will broaden and enhance the capabilities of our players."

Earlier this week, The Australian reported Former Wallaby and Australian World Rugby executive committee representative Brett Robinson that the global body wouldn't realise some of the rules were lifted from league.

"They have been pretty accepting of them being good ideas," said Brett Robinson, the former Wallabies backrower who is now Australia's representative on the World Rugby executive committee. "They don't actually see a lot of rugby league, unfortunately, so they think those ideas are ours. Rugby is a massive global game. But it is just dwarfed by AFL and rugby league within Australia."


The new rules have been fairly well received although The Australian rugby league journalist Brent Read couldn't help but notice the rules sounded familiar.

Wallabies prop Scott Sio said the forwards may need to improve their fitness to adjust to the added speed of the game.

"You've always got to spice it up when you're trying something new, add a bit of variety," Sio said. "And it gives the viewership something new to watch; hopefully some more exciting footy in the attacking halves, players trying something new."