REVEALED: Five trial laws to be introduced to Test matches
NEWS: World Rugby announced on Wednesday five law trials which will start next month in all competitions, including a so-called “50/22” kicking adaptation.
The 50/22 change allows a team to gain a throw-in inside the opposition’s 22-metre area by kicking the ball to touch with at least one bounce from their own half.
The rule was used in recent Super Rugby tournaments and its primary intention is to “encourage the defensive team to put more players in the backfield, thereby creating more attacking space and reducing defensive line speed”, according to the sport’s governing body.
The other laws to come into force on a temporary basis from August 1 include a goal-line drop-out if the ball is held up in the in-goal area, if there is a knock-on from an attacking player in the same area or an attacking kick is grounded by the defenders in their own in-goal.
There are also restrictions on attacking players latching onto teammates from a ruck and clean-outs which target or drop weight onto the lower limbs at the breakdown.
The final trial allows for a one-player latch before contact, but the individual must “observe all of the requirements for a first arriving player, particularly the need to stay on their feet”.
Welfare-focused law trials approved for global trial
- 50:22: This law trial is intended to create space via a tactical choice for players to drop out of the defensive line in order to prevent their opponents from kicking for touch, reducing impact of defensive line speed – operational in Super Rugby AU.
- Goal-line drop out: This law trial is intended to reduce the number of scrums, reward good defence, encourage counter-attacking and increase the rate of ball in play – operational in Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa, Super Rugby Trans-Tasman and the Rainbow Cup.
Welfare-focused breakdown law amendments approved for global trial
- Pre-bound pods of players: Outlawing the practice of pods of three or more players being pre-bound prior to receiving the ball – the sanction will be a penalty kick.
- Sanctioning the lower limb clear-out: Penalising players who target/drop their weight onto the lower limbs of a jackler – the sanction will be a penalty kick.
- Tightening law relating to latching: One-player latch to be permitted, but this player has the same responsibilities as a first arriving player (i.e. must stay on feet, enter through gate and not fall to floor) – the sanction will be a penalty kick.