"So how is the game played, what are the rules?" asks the alien (obviously via some kind of universal translator - I doubt they all speak English).
"Well, it's a little complicated," replies the rugby player. "In the northern hemisphere we're playing to normal rugby laws, those we've played under for years with the occasional tweak here and there. It seems to work pretty well and this season in particular we've seen some fantastically exciting rugby in our domestic competitions.
"However," he continues, "world rugby's governing body has decided that the sport needs to be made 'more exciting' - particularly for Australian couch potatoes - so they've introduced a whole bunch of experimental new laws, some of which are being trialled in the southern hemisphere's premier provincial competition called the Super 14.
"Despite the jury being firmly out on whether these experimental laws have been a success, the governing body has recently pushed through 13 experimental laws - some of which are different to the laws currently being trialled down under - and these will now be trialled worldwide from August this year and a decision will be taken on whether or not to adopt these laws permanently in November 2009.
"That said," (as the alien begins to wish he'd never asked the question) "the Super 14 will continue to employ the experimental laws that they are currently trialling while New Zealand domestic rugby will trial the 13 laws that are being trialled worldwide from August plus another 3 laws relating to awarding free kicks instead of penalties - laws which will only be trialled in the northern hemisphere in an as yet unspecified premier tournament.
"However, in June various northern hemisphere countries will be touring down under and the southern hemisphere players, who have been playing under the new laws in the Super 14, will have to revert to playing under the 'old' laws for the tour matches. Then, following the June tours, the Tri-Nations series kicks off between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and no one seems to know what laws will be applied."
"In other words," says the alien, "it's all a bit of a shambles," as he wanders off to play football.