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Nowell and Slade dream up wacky law tweaks for Exeter sevens event

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Red Bull Elevate)

England and Exeter duo Jack Nowell and Henry Slade have come up with an intriguing set of attack-minded rules for next month’s Red Bull Elevate touch rugby sevens tournament at Sandy Park.


The concept is to reward attacking play and make the game faster to increase the fan experience – and the planned tweaks to the traditional rugby laws should provide a feast of entertainment at the June 3 event that will serve as Nowell and Slade’s testimonial at the Chiefs.

Eight teams made up of both rugby stars and sporting celebrities, including the likes of Freddie Steward and Jason Fox as well as Thom and Max Evans, will compete on the day.

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Among the law alterations are different points for where a try is scored, ball cannon restarts, keeping two players on the pitch who have never played before, and also keeping a minimum of one female player per team on the pitch at all times.

Nowell, who is joining French club La Rochelle next season, said: “Henry and I are incredibly excited to bring Red Bull Elevate to Sandy Park.

“We have had a lot of fun developing the new tournament rules and have a great line-up of teams set for plenty of high-intensity matches. We look forward to seeing everyone there and promise an unforgettable day of rugby.”

Red Bull Elevate full tournament rules:
1. Standard seven-a-side touch rugby rules with five-touch turnover;


2. If a player on the attacking team makes a mistake that results in a turnover, they have to leave the field of play and can only return when a try has been scored;

3. The try area has been split into three scoring zones which equal one, two and three points – one point for touchline to the 15-metre line, two points for the 15-metre line to posts, three points for scoring under the posts;

4. Circular zones for conversions across the width of the pitch – three points for the circle between touchline and the 15-metre line, two points for the circle between the 15-metre and posts, one point for the circle between posts;

5. A ball cannon will be used to start and restart the game after a score;

6. Two players on the pitch must have never played rugby before and if they score points, the score is worth double;


7. There must be always a minimum of one female player on the pitch;

8. If you kick the ball directly to a player on your team who scores points, the score is worth double.


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