Divisional Organising Committees or the NCA Committee may, in their discretion, permit rolling substitutions in League Matches at Level 3 and below (as applicable), and in the RFU Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase matches. If the relevant Divisional Organising Committee or NCA Committee decides to implement rolling substitutions such implementation must be in accordance with paragraphs 18 to 25 below.
In a match where consent has been given by the appropriate Divisional Organising Committee prior to the Season and subject to Regulations (including, without limitation, paragraph 10 and 11 above) each team shall be permitted to use rolling substitutions of not more than the maximum number of the Player interchanges (“Player Interchanges”) set out in the table below:
Effective from 1 August 2014
Number of Player
Up to 3 8
7 or 8 12
In a Play Off Match, Player Interchanges will only be permitted where both participating teams have played their previous matches with Player Interchanges.
After the Player Interchanges have been made no other replacements, substitutions or Player Interchanges will be permitted for any reason (including temporary or permanent injuries, sending offs and suspensions) and in the event that a Player is injured, sent off or suspended from the field the team will play with one less Player and with uncontested scrums in the event that this involves a front row Player and the game cannot continue safely with contested scrums.
For the avoidance of doubt, Player Interchanges replace the “blood bin” which means that if a Player has an open wound and thus has to leave the field, this will be classified as a Player Interchange if that Player is replaced by another Player. If a team has used all of its Player Interchanges, that Player may not be replaced and the team shall continue with one less Player than was on the pitch prior to the “blood bin”. The Player is permitted to return once the wound has been treated and the bleeding stopped.
Not more than two Player Interchanges per team may occur at any one time and may only occur during a stoppage in play and with the knowledge of the Referee who is entitled in his sole opinion to refuse to allow or postpone a Player Interchange if he believes either that the Player Interchange would prevent the opposition from restarting the game quickly or where a Player has been injured or that it would not be safe for the replacement Player who has been previously injured to play in the match.
A Player must enter the field of play on the halfway line.
A Player who is a replacement shall not be entitled to take a kick at goal until a passage of play has taken place since that Player took to the field of play.
A Player who suffers two injuries in a match which has necessitated that Player being replaced on each occasion is not permitted to act as a replacement following the second injury.
Under dispensation provided to Unions by the IRB, where these rolling substitutions Regulations conflict with the Laws of the Game these Regulations shall take precedence.