Published: 15:59 | 13/1/20

Rugby law amendments to be trialled this year


A number of law amendments will be trialled at various tournaments throughout 2020, World Rugby has announced.

The trials come following the latest four-year rule amendment review cycle which began after last year’s World Cup in Japan.

The overall aim of the trial process is to reduce risk of injury and improve player safety, according to World Rugby, with preventing dangerous high tackles a priority in order to reduce the number of concussions.

Consequently, the High Tackle Technique Warning, which was successfully trialled at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship last summer and saw concussions reduced by more than 50%, will now be trialled in the Super Rugby championship and Top 14.

"While the recent Rugby World Cup demonstrated a slight decrease in injury rates and a 30% reduction in concussions owing to the implementation of evidence-based injury prevention programmes, we can and must do more to reduce injuries at all levels," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"We've already seen hugely encouraging initial outcomes and feedback from Australia's National Rugby Championship and are delighted to have such a broad range of elite and community leagues running trials thanks to the support of our unions and regions."

Among the other measures being trialled are:

1. The option for teams to review opposition yellow cards with a view to them being upgraded to a red where dangerous foul play is involved

2. If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents' 22 or from inside their own 22 into their opponents' half, they will be awarded the resultant lineout.

4. The introduction of an infringement (penalty and free-kick) limit for teams. Once a team has reached the limit, a mandatory yellow card is given to the last offending player as a team sanction.

5. The awarding of a goal-line drop-out to the defending team when an attacking player who brings the ball into in-goal is held up.

World Rugby’s Law Review Group will reconvene in March to review results before making recommendations to the Rugby Committee.

Image: INPHO

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