Varsity Cup introduces weird 'Power Play'
The team calling the Power Play may remove any two nominated backline players from the opposition for a period of three minutes of playing time.
The Power Play can only be called by a team while in their own half, must be called by the captain, and can only be called once. If the team whose players have been removed score a try during the Power Play period, they are awarded an extra two points (seven points before the conversion).
The introduction of the Power Play is aimed to encourage attacking rugby.
"Yellow and red cards are such integral aspects of rugby, yet players and coaches worldwide struggle to deal with the change in personnel," said Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield.
"This innovative new rule will foster a generation of rugby players who will be able to defend with less teammates on the field and will know how to fully utilise a numerical advantage."
This Power Play rule will allow tactically strong coaches to employ robust new strategies. University of Western Cape (UWC) coach and 1995 Rugby World Cup winning wing Chester Williams believes the Power Play rule will bring an exciting new edge to the competition.
"The new rule will be good for players, coaches and, most of all, spectators going into next year's competition, as it keeps the game fresh. Power Play will really keep the game fluid and allow for some innovative thinking from the coaches.
"It will be tactically and strategically challenging for all of the coaches, and will be interesting to see how other coaches react."
Varsity Cup will kick off on January 29 when title-holders University of Pretoria take on University of Free State at Tuks Stadium. The Varsity Shield will begin on February 19th. Varsity Cup will conclude on Monday, April 16.