IRB rugby union official lawsThe Laws of Rugby Union

There are three distinct areas of laws and Regulations governing the game of Rugby Union. The whole complex matter is controlled by the International Rugby Board IRB. To make it easy for you we have put a link to the relevant section of their site appertaining to each section with a brief overview on the details.

Laws of the Game

There are 22 distinct laws governing the game so when entering the IRB link you will need to move on and select what you want information on and which language, to save you time the break down is listed here by law and definition:

The IRB page on the laws offers you the option to review all the laws in one under the heading Laws of the Game, but be warned this is a 12.93MB acrobat file. See also the new IRB Laws

Experimental Law Variations

The Experimental Law Variations (ELV's) completed there trials during the 2008 season and some have now been included into the full laws of the game. We will not try and explain all the variations to you here, but follow this link to view the complete list with advice on interpretation:The IRB page on the ELV's


The regulations cover everything about the game outside playing a match covering such topics as Anti-Doping, Code of Conduct, Advertising etc. There are 23 regulations and as they are spelled out on the relevant page on the website we have not listed them here for you. Like the laws you can download all in one but it is a 6.08MB file or just select the regulation you would like to read. The page link is

Equipment Approval.

This page lists the manufacturers who have approvals for headgear, Shoulder Pads and Woman's Padding. Only this equipment is allowed if you are playing or training. If you are interested or need it the other information is the approved test houses for this equipment with contact information. The link for Approved Equipment is:

Law Rulings

The last section on the page refers to Law Rulings, this section includes instances where the interpretation of a specific law has needed clarification these can be requested by any affiliated body and the rulings are noted on the page. These are not specific laws just clarification on how they should be used during a game. The page is: