New Law changes come into play

The World Rugby Executive Committee has approved the addition of six law amendments to the programme of global law trials following positive trials in specific international competitions this year.

The amendments, which relate to the scrum (Law 20) and tackle/ruck (Laws 15 and 16), are aimed at making the game simpler to play and referee as well as further promoting player welfare. They have been approved following extensive game data analysis as well as player, coach, match official and union feedback from the tournaments in which these six aspects of law were trialled.

The six law amendments will now join the scheduled global law trial programme, completing a total package of 11 aspects of law, and will debut in full from 1 August, 2017 in the northern hemisphere and from 1 January, 2018 in the south.


The November 2017 tests will operate under the full global law trials, while Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 will operate under the package of five global law trials that has been operational in the southern hemisphere since January and was operational during the June test window.


The six aspects of law approved to join the global trial programme are:


1. Law 20.5 and 20.6 (d) 

No signal from referee. The scrum-half must throw the ball in straight but is allowed to align their shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing them to stand a shoulder width towards their own side of the middle line.

Rationale: To promote scrum stability, a fair contest for possession while also giving the advantage to the team throwing in (non-offending team).


2. Law 20.9 (b) Handling in the scrum – exception

The number eight shall be allowed to pick the ball from the feet of the second-rows. 

Rationale: To promote continuity.


3. Law 20.8 (b) Striking after the throw-in

Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front-row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball.

Sanction: Free-kick

Rationale: To promote a fair contest for possession.


4. Law 15.4 (c)

The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their own side of the tackle “gate”.

Rationale: To make the tackle/ruck simpler for players and referees and more consistent with the rest of that law.


5. Law 16 Ruck

A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside lines are created. Players on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used.

Rationale: To make the ruck simpler for players and referees.


6. Law 16.4: Other ruck offences

A player must not kick the ball out of a ruck. The player can only hook it in a backwards motion.

Sanction: Penalty

Rationale: To promote player welfare and to make it consistent with scrum law.




The six new aspects of law were part of the original 2015 laws review process, and were recommended to move to closed trial to provide a further analysis opportunity before global trial could be considered.


These closed trials were operational at this year's World Rugby U20 Championship, World Rugby Nations Cup, World Rugby Pacific Challenge, Americas Rugby Championship and Oceania Rugby U20 Championship, with positive outcomes:


Scrum outcomes: 

  • More ball coming back into play with fewer penalties and fewer collapses
  • The ball was thrown in without delay, with scrums continuing to be stable prior to throw-in
  • No collapses occurred by the number eight picking the ball up from under the second rows 

Tackle outcomes: 

  • Feedback indicated that the tackle was easier to referee with more clearly defined offside lines and tacklers not interfering with the quality of the ball with more players on their feet allowing counter rucking 

A comprehensive analysis was undertaken by the specialist Laws Review Group, the Scrum Steering Group, considering detailed and highly-positive union, player and match official feedback, before the recommendations were approved by the Rugby Committee and subsequently the Executive Committee. The trials were also considered at the high performance match officials and coaches meeting earlier this year. 


World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "World Rugby continually reviews the laws to ensure that the game is as enjoyable, simple and safe as possible at all levels. I would like to thank our unions for their full support throughout the process, the experts who evaluated the closed trial data and look forward to seeing the full results of the global trial.” 


Rugby Committee Chairman John Jeffrey added: "These law amendments are designed to improve the experience of those playing and watching the game at all levels and to avoid negative play where possible. The results of the closed trials were highly-encouraging with more ball out from the scrum, fewer penalties and better stability, which has a player welfare benefit too.”


Implementation this year will enable at least a year of evaluation before the moratorium on law amendment begins a year out from Rugby World Cup 2019. 


Law Review Group members: Alain Rolland; Rhys Jones; Mark Harrington (all World Rugby); Nigel Melville (RFU); Ben Whitaker (ARU); David Nucifora (IRFU); Didier Retiere (FFR); Dave Rennie (NZR), Francesco Ascione (FIR); Rachael Burford (IRPA); Chris Paterson (SRU); Pablo Bouza (UAR); Paul Adams (WRU); Chean Roux (SARU). Previous inputs within the process include Paul O'Connell (IRPA); Eddie Jones (RFU); Nigel Whitehouse (WRU) and Dr Martin Raftery (World Rugby).

Golf day success at Yale

Congratulations to the team of Eddie Higgins, Ian McDonnell, Craig Watterson and Ty Jones for winning with a gross score of -5. Well done men. Nearest the pin was Craig Watterson with Simon Soros winning the long drive.  

Bulldogs fall to a strong Brown side

There were many positives to take from the weekends defeat at the hands of a strong Brown side in the semi final of the Ivy Conference. Having gone into the half time at 5-5, thanks to a great team try, scored by Sophomore, Jimmy Wilkins, the performance dropped in the second half. On the 55 mins mark Brown scored a penalty and a try straight after, taking the score to 15-5. From that point, Brown found their Rhythm, scoring some excellent tries. The final score was 44-5 to Brown. This was a particularly poor finish to the game, and we have many learnings that we can take form this defeat. Onwards to Scared Heart next Sunday at Home in New Haven.

 The Yale players would like to thank Tama Dean for his time with the program



Players take away important medical / nutritional advice

On Sunday, February 26th, the rugby playing community were given a talk by the welfare staff. The talk began with an overview of the days presentations lead by the program's Physician, Dr David Kovacevic, MD. There are a great deal of change occurring and the players needed clarity on best course of action in all components of the welfare department. After David, the programs athletic trainers, Tony Simoes and Lauren Szmak discussed injury protocols and return to play policies. The final presentation was conducted by Mike Harris, CSCS, the Yale University Head of strength and conditioning. This presentation focused on 'nutrition for athletic performance'.  We are very grateful for the staff giving up their Sunday to present to the players. 

Yale Rugby weekend around the corner

One of the most important weekend's of the Yale Rugby calendar is on April 21st / 22nd. This is a terrific opportunity for all of the stakeholders to join together and celebrate the history and present activities of the program. Last year we had over 160 people at the Gala dinner at the commons. The weekend begins with the golf day on the Friday, and runs right through to the Saturday night.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ralph Bosch at Hurry, as the golf places in particular are filling up fast.

Bulldogs pre season camp at Vero Beach

In preparation for the competitive Spring term, the Bulldogs will be traveling to historic Dodgertown this March for a 3 day pre season camp. There is great HISTORY attached to the venue. With top class FACILITIES, it will be the ideal place for the players to prep, with a focus on RUGBY.

We finish the camp with a training session V local club side Indian River. This will be a good way to finished a system based camp.

Squad working hard for the Spring

On January 18th, the Yale Rugby squad will begin the Winter 8 week program with Strength Testing. Targets will be set and Re Testing will take place on March 7th. 

On March 25th, Yale (4) will play Brown (1) in the Ivy League Semi Final. In the other half of the draw Princeton (2) will play UPenn (3). The winning Team that emerges will go on to represent the Ivy League in the D1AA National Play Offs in April.

The Spring season will kick off with a pre season tour to Florida on March 18th. Stay tuned for winter training updates.

New Leadership announced for the 2017-18 season

Alex Petrillo (left), Bryan Herbert (centre) and Charlie Hill (right) enjoy a moment after the Columbia victory. Bryan and Charlie were elected Club President and Club Captain respectively for the 2017-18 season.

Alex Petrillo (left), Bryan Herbert (centre) and Charlie Hill (right) enjoy a moment after the Columbia victory. Bryan and Charlie were elected Club President and Club Captain respectively for the 2017-18 season.

There is a great mix of youth and experience involved with the 2017-18 leadership group. Charlie Hill & Bryan Herbert were pivotal in Yale reaching the National Championships as freshman. Now seniors, they have the opportunity of taking ownership of the program. 

Here is the Officer Class of 2017-2018

Captain: Charlie Hill

President: Bryan Herbert

Treasurer: Phil Kapranov

Dues Manager: Khaleel Rajwani

Match Day Sec: Phillip Vorster

Tour Manager: Nicolas Wicaksono

Assistant Tour Manager: Joe Goode

Social Chair: Josh Racine

Social Chair: Alex O'Neill

Fundraising Director: Vlad Sychou

Equipment Manager: Diego Sialer

Recruiting Director: Scott Cockburn

Social Media Manager: Simon Soros

Congratulations everyone! Very well-deserved.

Yale Rugby grad living the life in Dublin

Will is a player with massive potential for growth. Being a Trinity College Alum and being great friends with Tony Smeeth, the TCD Director of Rugby, I was very keen to develop relationships. Trinity currently sit at the top of the AIL in Ireland, and play a brand of rugby we are looking to emulate at Yale. They produce great men through the program. Will is studying a masters in Global Health. I truly hope that this is just the start of it. I think, for a Yale graduate, having the opportunity to complete a masters abroad is something special.
— Greg McWilliams, Director of Rugby, Yale University

One of the benefits of DUFC’s promotion to division 1A is the reputation the club now has among students thinking of coming to Trinity.

Adrien Charbonnier (21), who started a Masters in International Management in September, is a case in point. Adrien, who began playing for Clermont Auvergne at the age of nine, was torn between playing professional or continuing his studies.

“Trinity had a good rugby team promoted to the first division and the university is famous in Europe so the masters seemed like a good next step,” he says.

Adrien first became aware of Trinity when his friend started studying here a couple of years ago. “I was astonished by the beauty of the college and College Park is so unbelievable – one of the best places I’ve ever played.”

As it turns out, Adrien is one of four international masters students on this year’s men’s rugby team. Will Roberts (22, pictured above right with Jesse Milne), from Charlotte in North Carolina, is studying for a Masters in Global Health.

Will, who did his undergraduate degree at Yale, originally played American football when he started college but soon switched to rugby. Without doubt it’s now his number one sport: “I wish I had started playing much earlier,” he says.

Will was lucky enough to spend time in New Zealand last summer, where he got to play with the Hamilton-based Chiefs, former home to Sonny Bill Williams. “I got to hang out with many of the All Blacks while playing club rugby at a higher level than I ever had before,” he says.

Dominique Marcellesi (24), a former Stade Francais player from Corsica, is at Trinity to do a Masters in Finance. When he completed his primary degree Dominique decided to work and travel for a few years before resuming his studies: “Trinity was an obvious choice considering its rankings and quality of its teaching.”

The standard of rugby at DUFC has been an eye-opener for the Frenchman. “Compared to the equivalent level in France, what impresses me the most here is the professionalism of these young players. They are much more committed and serious than in France!”

Jesse Milne (23) came to Trinity to do a Masters in International Peace Studies, having completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

He was aware of Trinity and the type of rugby played here after meeting DUFC head coach Tony Smeeth at a camp in the States a few years back.

Jesse, who’s from Oakland in California, started playing rugby at 14 and continued throughout his time in Berkeley. He has been playing for DUFC since arriving in Ireland for pre-season training in August.

The standard of rugby at his new team is different to what he’s used to. “More players have more confident grasps of extensive rugby skills and tactics across the board - they're able to play at a more expansive and free-flowing pace.”

One thing all four international students agree on is the warm welcome they’ve received. “The guys on the team and the coaches are all open and accepting and ready to help the new guys fit properly in and find their place in the club,” says Jesse.

“There is a very good atmosphere and good guys in this team,” says Dominique, “both on and off the field.”

For Will, the sense of community has meant that he’s been able to start the academic year already with a great group of friends.

*Trinity's first XI are currently top of the AIL. They play their next game against Lansdowne this Saturday, November 5, on College Park at 2.30pm

Yale 14-21 Penn


Penn defeats Yale 21-14 in Penn Park

Yale Men (14) at Penn Men (21)

Kickoff: Oct 15 2016 - 1:30pm

Penn defeated Yale by the score of 21-14 at a well fought match at Dunning-Cohen Champions Field in Penn Park Saturday. Penn scored two first half trys to make the score 14 - nil at the break. After taking a seemingly commanding lead 21-0 early in the 2nd frame, Yale came roaring back to score twice with a chance to tie it up at the final whistle.

Halftime Penn 14 - Yale 0

Final Penn 21 - Yale 14

Penn Scoring

UPenn with the opening try. 0-7.
UPenn try makes it 0-14.
Try UPenn makes it 0-21.

Yale Scoring

Captain Nicota goes for the steal for Yale's first try. Simon S. with the conversion. 7-21.
Jimmy Wilkins with a 50- meter try. 14-21.

Yale developmental sevens side defeated Penn by a score of 28-19.

Yale Men 1st XV

1 N Wikasono

2 D Ficenec

3 U Sychou

4 AJ Ding

5 K Wiesmann

6 C Hill Vice Captain

7 S Cockburn

8 B Herbert  Vice Captain

9 J Goode

10 N Stevenson Captain

11 S Soros

12 J Wilkins

13 H Seavey

14 P Kapranov

15 D Madziva

16 H O Loughlin

17 D Sailer

18 I Reid

19 A O Neill

20 P Vorster

21 T Lopez

22 F Chishayo

23 J Racine

Penn Men 1st XV

1. Lincoln Talbot
2. Eliott Taylor
3. David Harris(capt)
4. Jack Smallwood
5. Conrad Urffer
6. Tabong Kima
7. Alex Salazar
8. George Prassas
9. Cmaillo Navarro
10. Evan Wijaya
11. Nick Biden
12. Alec Bayliff
13. Matthew Dong
14. Gary Zhou
15. Matthew Caltabiano
16. Jammil Telfort
17. Jacob Nelson
18. Tiger Brown
19. Taylor Martinez
20. Cullen O’Boyle
21. David Kinnaird
22. Connor Petrucelli
23. Connor Wakeman


Bulldogs welcome the Big Green

This weekend, Dartmouth travel to New Haven for the 3rd Ivy League match of this campaign (1-1). After a disappointing result V Princeton last Saturday in round 2, this is a big challenge against the Ivy powerhouse. 

After a productive week of training, selection will be made on Friday evening after the captains run. There are a number of players who have fitness tests before selection can be made. However this weekend is too soon for Miles Kim '20, Jimmy Wilkins '19 and Luc Ryan Schreiber '17 who picked up injuries in the first half of the Princeton game.

This provides a great opportunity for other squad members to take their chance. 

If you are in town, please come by and support the bulldogs. Look for the Yale Rugby table, there will be a few family members hanging around. The 1st XV game kicks off at 11.00am followed by the development team at 12.30pm.

Please note the change of address as a result of the home Football game

1133 Ella T Grasso Blvd, New Haven, CT 06511

Princeton power past the Bulldogs

The scoreline certainly does not do the Bulldogs justice. At half time the team were still in the game and on the ascendancy. However Princeton came out of the blocks and dominated the closing proceedings. 

There has been a steady improvement in the performance of the team, now it is time to convert that into consistent results. There is no doubt conceding high points is costing the team.

Tries: Harry Seavey '18, Duane Madviza '18 & Vlad Sychou '18

Conversions: Simon Soros '20