International referees have been told to crackdown on illegal tackles and scrum infringements.
The world's top international referees and referee managers met in London this week for the annual IRB High Performance Referee Conference.
The area of illegal tackles was highlighted and the group expressed its commitment to stricter policing of illegal clearing out of players off the ball at the ruck and illegal tackles in open play.
Scrum collapses and resets were also on the agenda.
International matches now average 18 scrums with an average of 18 collapsed or reset scrums. Average match time consumed by the scrum is currently 16 percent and climbs as high as 25 percent in some cases.
The need to promote consistency and a fair contest for possession was also on the agenda and the referees are committed to stricter vigilance of offside from kicks, illegal scrum feeds and obstruction at the formation of the maul.