World Rugby has launched T1 Rugby, a non-contact version of rugby union ©World Rugby

World Rugby has launched a non-contact format of rugby union that it claims is fully reflective of the sport's characteristics and includes scrums, lineouts, and breakdowns.

T1 Rugby has been designed to increase participation and engagement by "making the sport more relevant and accessible to young people".

It is a casual game and emphasises fun, fitness, and inclusion with a mantra of being for everyone, officials claimed who launched the new format during the Rugby World Cup, which ended in Paris last night with South Africa lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for a record fourth time.

"We are delighted to bring T1 Rugby to the global game as the first non-contact offering that truly reflects the unique characteristics of the sport," said World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin.

"With popularity and participation growing, particularly amongst young people and specifically girls, it is crucial that it will capitalise on the momentum by making the game we love accessible to all to supercharge growth.

"T1 Rugby was developed with significant input from our member unions, including England, New Zealand, South Africa, Laos and Vietnam.

"Ultimately, it will provide a vehicle for our member unions to expand participation reach in their country."

It is the first non-contact form of rugby union that includes aspects such as lineouts, scrums, kicking, and breakdowns.

World Rugby claims that in trials participants were able to pick up the rules in 20 minutes.

It is set to be rolled out globally by national member unions following a showcase media match at the Rugby World Cup, although a timeframe has not been announced.

"T1 Rugby now completes a portfolio of full contact, modified contact and non-contact rugby, a key pillar of our six-point player welfare plan of adapting the rules of the game to cater for those who don’t wish to play the contact version of our game," Gilpin added.

"Rugby is truly a sport for all and T1 Rugby will reach a different, younger audience, increasing the reach and impact of the sport as we look to grow beyond our traditional nations, communities and demographics, particularly as we look to men's and women's Rugby World Cups in the USA where the opportunity is huge."