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VIDEO: SARU supports new 'red card' trial

The much-debated 20-minute red card law looks set to go on trial in the Rugby Championship later this year.


The South African Rugby Union CEO Rian Oberholzer confirmed that they supported the recommendation.

“World Rugby decided competitions can experiment with it,” Oberholzer said, adding that SANZAAR is looking to introduce in the Rugby Championship that gets underway on August 10.

The recommendation was made by World Rugby at their recent ‘Shape of the Game’ forum in London.

It is set to be voted on at a World Rugby Council meeting in May.

The council needs a 75 percent majority to push the proposal through, but they will certainly have SARU’s vote.

“SARU supports that,” Oberholzer told a media briefing on the sideline of the country’s national awards ceremony in Johannesburg.


“A red card spoils the match.”

The CEO admitted that transgressions must be punished, but he felt the player, and not the team, should be punished.

“As a spectacle – when you have 14 play against 15 – as someone said, there is a three percent chance of the 14 winning.

“I don’t think that is good for the game or the spectators,” the SARU boss added.


“We, SARU, will support the 20-minute red card – as proposed by World Rugby.”

(WATCH as SARU CEO Rian Oberholzer talks about the proposal that a 20-minute red card trial be introduced in the Rugby Championship.…)

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The 20-minute red card has been trialled in Super Rugby since 2020, and introduced into the Rugby Championship in 2022, although it wasn’t used last year to make it consistent with the rules that teams would encounter at the World Cup.

New Zealand also extended the 20-minute red card replacement throughout their community game for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

The trial sees a player who has received a red card replaced after 20 minutes by another player.

If a player receives a second yellow card – which equates to an automatic red card – after a further 20 minutes, the red-carded player can be replaced.

In either case, the player sent off is not allowed to return and faces the usual disciplinary process.



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