Two new law trials are set to reinvigorate play in the upcoming season of the National Rugby Championship, which begins on August 31.
Teams will now be rewarded for strong defence with a goal-line drop-out when the ball is held up in the in-goal area.
They will also be recognised for aggressive territorial kicking with the introduction of a 50:22 play.
Attacking teams that boot the ball indirectly from open play or a free kick within their own half and land it either within their opponent’s 22 or touchline will earn a lineout throw.
The two law changes emulate rules that exist within rugby league, with the 13-man code already enforcing a goal-line drop-out for teams which hold up opponents in their in-goal area.
Additionally, the 50:22 play is a variant of the 40/20 rule that already exists in league, whereby players who indirectly find the sideline in the opposition’s 20 metre mark with their boot from inside their own 40 metre mark retain the ball.
Such rule changes in union will likely result in more attacking kicking throughout this season’s NRC as the emphasis on territory and field position intensifies.
The NRC will also introduce lunchtime kick-offs scheduled around the Rugby World Cup, allowing fans to enjoy both the domestic competition and the Wallabies’ adventures in Tokyo on TV.
Use of suburban grounds, such as Apex Oval in Dubbo and Viking Park in Canberra, will be continued.
National Rugby Championship 2019 schedule (all times are local):
Saturday 31 August – NSW Country v Sydney, 12.00pm, Apex Oval, Dubbo
Saturday 31 August – Melbourne Rising v Canberra Vikings, 1.30pm, Box Hill Rugby Club, Melbourne
Saturday 31 August – Brisbane City v Fijian Drua, 3.00pm, GPS Rugby Club, Brisbane
Saturday 31 August – Western Force v Queensland Country, 3.00pm, UWA, Perth
Saturday 7 September – Fijian Drua v Western Force, 3.00pm, ANZ Stadium, Suva
Saturday 7 September – Melbourne Rising v NSW Country, 3.30pm, Bailey Reserve, Adelaide
Sunday 8 September – Brisbane City v Sydney, 1.00pm, Bond University, Gold Coast
Sunday 8 September – Queensland Country v Canberra Vikings, 3.00pm, Bond University, Gold Coast
Saturday 14 September – Sydney v Queensland Country, 12.00pm, Woollahra Oval, Sydney
Saturday 14 September – Canberra Vikings v Brisbane City, 2.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra
Saturday 14 September – NSW Country v Fijian Drua, 4.00pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Sunday 15 September – Western Force v Melbourne Rising, 3.00pm, UWA, Perth
Saturday 21 September – Fijian Drua v Sydney, 2.00pm (12.00pm AEST), Churchill Park, Lautoka
(Saturday 21 September- Australia v Fiji, 2.45pm AEST)
Saturday 21 September – Western Force v Canberra Vikings, 3.00pm, UWA, Perth
Sunday 22 September – Melbourne Rising v Queensland Country, 1.00pm, Mars Stadium, Ballarat
Sunday 22 September – Brisbane City v NSW Country, 4.00pm, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 28 September – Canberra Vikings v Fijian Drua, 12.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra
Saturday 28 September – Queensland Country v Brisbane City, 4.00pm, Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone
Sunday 29 September – Sydney v Melbourne Rising, 1.00pm, Forshaw Rugby Park, Sydney
Sunday 29 September – NSW Country v Western Force, 3.00pm, Port Macquarie Regional Stadium, Port Macquarie
Saturday 5 October – Canberra Vikings v Sydney, 12.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra
(Saturday 5 October, Australia v Uruguay, 3.15pm AEST)
Saturday 5 October – Melbourne Rising v Fijian Drua, 5.30pm, Casey Fields, Melbourne
Sunday 6 October – Queensland Country v NSW Country, 3.00pm, Bond University, Gold Coast
Sunday 6 October – Western Force v Brisbane City, 3.00pm, UWA, Perth
Friday 11 October – Canberra Vikings v NSW Country, 6.00pm, Viking Park, Canberra
(Friday 11 October- Australia v Georgia, 9.15pm)
Saturday 12 October – Sydney v Western Force, 12.00pm, Woollahra Oval, Sydney
Saturday 12 October – Fijian Drua v Queensland Country, 3.00pm, Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka
Saturday 12 October – Brisbane City v Melbourne Rising, 3.00pm, Easts Rugby Club, Brisbane
Saturday 19 October – 1st v 4th
Sunday 20 October – 2nd v 3rd
Saturday 26 October
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Radical new trial laws introduced to Australia's National Rugby Championship