Nine-point try: South Africa's new law variations

Law variations will see a change to scrums and mauls LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

South African university rugby competition the Varsity Cup will begin trialling several new law changes, including nine-point tries, when the season kicks off in February.

This season will see a large change to the points system, with bonus points awarded depending on where the try-scoring movement began.

While a try is still worth five points, if the movement begins between the half-way line and the opponent's 22 - and possession is maintained from start to finish - they will receive two bonus points.

If a team scores a try that originated from inside their own half and possession is again maintained from start to finish, they will be awarded four bonus points.

The referees scrum commands will also be changed with the current "crouch, bind and set" to be changed to "crouch, bind and slide".

Following the crouch command, props will bind onto each other, but will not be allowed to bind onto the armpit or below the middle of the rib area. The referee will then decide that their bind positions have been established and they will not be allowed to change or adjust. The players will then come ear to ear and slide into position upon command, taking away the impact of the initial hit.

The maul will also see a slight change to enable referees to act more swiftly. If a maul does not move forward, or begins to move sideways or backward, referees will give teams five seconds to move forward. If they fail the half-back has three seconds, counted aloud, to get the ball out of the maul. If they fail to produce the ball, the referee will award a scrum to the opposition team. The final law variation will see the White Card review system, introduced in 2015 to allow teams to review a decision or non-decision, used only during the semi-finals and final.

This isn't the first time the Varsity Cup has trialled law variations, with the competition introducing two referees, changed points system and the white card throughout its existence. These law variations have since been used in Australia's National Rugby Championship and will also feature in New Zealand's National Provincial Championship in 2016.