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In both rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...
and rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...
, a blood replacement
(also referred to as a blood substitution
or blood bin
) is a special kind of substitution which can be used in the case of a player having to leave the field of play temporarily to have a wound
A wound is a type of injury in which skin is torn, cut or punctured , or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion . In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.-Open:...
In rugby union, blood replacements are provided for by Law 3.10 of the International Rugby Board
The International Rugby Board is the governing body for the sport of rugby union. It was founded in 1886 as the International Rugby Football Board by the unions of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. England refused to join until 1890. The International Rugby Football Board changed its name to the...
A player who has been wounded may be replaced for up to fifteen minutes (running time), during which he or she may receive first-aid treatment to staunch the flow of blood and dress the wound. The player may then ask the referee to return to the pitch of play.
In rugby league, blood replacement substitutions are enforced by the referee after he has noticed that a player is bleeding. This change takes the place of one of the allocated 10 replacements that teams are allowed. In the case of misconduct, where the incident leading to the injury has been either placed on report or sin-binned or sent off, then the replacement is free (does not count) however when the player returns this counts as an interchange.
Fake blood injuries have been used for tactical benefit, to enable teams to withdraw a player they may wish to bring back on later. A notable example was the "Bloodgate
Bloodgate is the nickname for a rugby union scandal involving the English team Harlequins in their Heineken Cup match against the Irish side Leinster on 12 April 2009...
" incident, where Harlequins wing Tom Williams
Tom Williams is an English rugby union player who plays for Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership.He normally plays at either full-backor on the wing....
came off the field with what turned out to be a faked blood injury in order to facilitate a tactical substitution. An investigation by the ERC and the RFU revealed that blood injuries had also been faked by Harlequins to enable tactical substitutions on four previous occasions. These findings resulted in a four month ban for Williams, a three year ban for former director of rugby Dean Richards and a two year ban for physiotherapist Steph Brennan as well as a £260,000 fine for the club.