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World Rugby’s Law Review Group (LRG) met in London this week over two days and a number of new law variations look set to be trialled next year. 

We previously discussed the various potential law changes earlier in the week but the ones which look set to be trialled pending further approval include:

50:22 Kick Proposal

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 throw into the resultant lineout.

Rationale: To create space by forcing players to drop back out of the defensive line in order to prevent their opponents from kicking for touch.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trials.

Reduce Tackle Height To Waist

Reducing the tackle height to the waist.

Rationale: Forcing players to tackle lower may reduce the risk of head injuries to both the tackler and tackled player.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trials.

Rugby Laws Trial

Upgrade Yellow Card To Red Card 

Ability to review a yellow card when a player is in the sin-bin for dangerous foul play.

Rationale: To ensure players who are guilty of serious foul play do not escape with a yellow card when they deserved red.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trials.

Other ideas such as reducing the number of substitutions in a match and stricter officiating on the speed at which players (defending) remove themselves from a ruck are not, as of this moment planned for trial but will be considered further.

In addition to the above, other variations look set to be trialled in National Rugby Championship (NRC) in Australia and these include:

Infringement Limit 

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.

Rationale: To encourage teams to offend less.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trials at NRC in Australia.

Goal Line Drop-Out Instead Of Attacking 5m Scrum

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.

Rationale: To reward good defence and promote a faster rate of play.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trials at NRC in Australia.

Extra Substitution In Sevens

One additional replacement per team be allowed during extra-time in a sevens match.

Rationale: To manage player fatigue and workload.

Recommendation: To approve for closed trial at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series

High Tackle Warning

The High Tackle Technique warning has been successfully trialled at the World Rugby U20 Championship for the last two years.

Rationale: Head Injury prevention strategy.

Recommendation: To approve further closed trials.

Overall Tackle Law

A number of potential changes to tackle law were discussed by the group, with a particular reference to the community level in France.

Rationale: To reduce injury rates in the domestic game.

Recommendation: Approve for closed trials in designated FFR competitions.

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