Length of game 1. The game shall normally be of eighty minutes duration.

Interval At half time there shall be an interval of five minutes but this may be extended or reduced.

Changing ends 2. A team shall defend one in-goal for the first half of the game and then change ends for the second half.

End of play 3. If time expires in either half when the ball is out of play or a player in possession has been tackled and the ball has not been played the Referee shall immediately blow his whistle to terminate play. If the ball is in play when time expires, the Referee shall terminate play when next the ball goes out of play or a player in possession is tackled but time shall be extended to allow a penalty kick or a kick at goal to be taken in which case the half is terminated when next the ball goes out of play or a tackle is effected, unless a further penalty is awarded in which case time is again extended for the kick to be taken.

Extra time 4. Extra time shall be added to each half to compensate for time wasted or lost from any cause. The Referee shall be the sole judge of extra time except where these duties have been delegated to a timekeeper.

Recommencing 5. (a) If the continuance of play endangers an injured play after injury player the referee may stop the game. If, when the game is stopped, a player is in possession of the ball the game shall be recommenced by that player playing-the-ball. Otherwise play shall be restarted with a scrum at the point where the ball was when play was stopped with the team then in possession or last in possession, having the loose head and the put-in.

(b) If a player in possession is injured in a tackle and unable to play the ball and play has been stopped, play shall be resumed by a colleague playing the ball at the point where the injured player was tackled.

(c) If a player in possession is injured in a tackle and unable to play the ball the Referee may without stopping the game, provided he is satisfied that continuance of play would not endanger the injured player, direct a colleague of the injured player to play the ball at a point five metres in-field from the point where the player was injured. In the event that a requirement to release the ball may endanger the injured player, the Referee may, at his discretion, order a scrum five metres in-field with the opponents of the team of the injured player having the loose head and the put-in.


Shortening length 1. The duration of the game may be reduced by mutual of game agreement and if permitted by the rules governing the competition in which the game is played.

Altering interval Clubs wishing to alter the length of the interval should apply to the appropriate authority who will then instruct the Referee accordingly.
In adverse weather conditions it may sometimes be advisable to reduce or dispense with the half time interval.

Using Timekeeper 3. A timekeeper may be employed to signal half time and full time, in which case the referee on receiving the timekeeper’s signal, terminates the half in the manner described above.
A timekeeper may also assist the Referee in determining the end of a player’s temporary suspension.

Allow second kick If the ball is kicked into touch from a penalty the nonoffending side should be allowed full advantage of the penalty award by extending time to allow play to be resumed with the free kick permitted by the Laws relating to the Penalty. (See Section 13).

Scrum If a scrum has been set and fed before time expires play shall continue until a player in possession is tackled or the ball goes out of play.

Time off for cautions Where time off applies, time should be taken off in the event of a caution being delivered to a player/players.

Signal extra time 4. If a timekeeper is employed, the referee shall signal that extra time is being allowed by raising both arms whereupon the timekeeper stops his watch and starts it again when the Referee waves one arm above his head to signal play is about to recommence.

Reduce stoppages 5. The Referee should endeavour to reduce stoppage to a minimum. Injured players should be removed from the playing field to receive attention as quickly as possible, taking into account the gravity and nature of the injury. Treatment to an injured player, by not more than one attendant, may be permitted while play proceeds if, in the opinion of the Referee, such treatment is not likely to interfere with play. The attendant shall not place anything on the ground likely to interfere with play, or carry anything of a rigid nature likely to cause injury in the event of a rapid switch in play causing an unforeseen collision.