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'Not a fan': Ian Foster disapproves of World Rugby's trial laws

By Sam Smith

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster says he isn’t a fan of the 50:22 and goal-line drop-out rules implemented at test level this year.

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World Rugby confirmed in August that the trial laws would be used in the Rugby Championship as two of many experimental rules.

The laws were designed to make the game more entertaining by creating extra space on the field and rewarding attacking teams, but Foster believes World Rugby hasn’t hit the mark with those two rule variations.

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster discusses preparation for USA test
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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster discusses preparation for USA test

“Not a fan. Don’t really think it’s added a lot to the game, to be honest,” Foster said on Friday when asked for his opinion on the 50:22 and goal-line drop-outs.

“I know it’ll be reviewed at some point, but don’t really feel they’ve changed the shape of the game, maybe to the extent that perhaps was thought.”

Despite his disapproval of the trial laws, Foster admired World Rugby’s innovation and attempt to develop the game positively, but maintained that those two rules haven’t had the desired impact.

“I encourage the fact that we’re trying something, so I’ve got no opposition to that, but not sure it’s added spice to the game.”

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Foster’s comments come after the 50:22 ruling, modelled on rugby league’s 40/20 law, was at the centre of controversy in the All Blacks’ final Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.

A South African water boy was reprimanded by referee Matthew Carley during the match after he harassed an assistant referee for not awarding the Springboks a 50:22 from a clearing kick, despite the correct call being made.

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber apologised for the incident in the wake of his side’s 31-29 victory over the All Blacks, admitting that he and his coaching staff had ordered the water boy to plea to the officials about the decision.

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'Not a fan': Ian Foster disapproves of World Rugby's trial laws

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