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Report: World Rugby set to introduce two new laws for Rugby Championship, international tests

By Sam Smith
Tom Wright of the Wallabies (L) makes a run during the 2020 Tri-Nations match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium on November 07, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

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World Rugby will introduce two controversial new rules to test matches for the latter half of the season, according to reports out of Australia.


The Sydney Morning Herald have revealed that WR’s executive committee have signed off on two law trials that were tested throughout Super Rugby this year.

The 50-22 kick and goal line dropout will be adopted for all tests kicking off after the beginning of August – likely excluding the final match between the Springboks and the touring British and Irish Lions – and any competitions taking place after that date.

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The 50-22 kick was a staple in Super Rugby AU and is adapted from the 40-20 rule employed in rugby league, awarding a team an attacking lineout if they are able to kick the ball from within their own half out inside the opposition 22. The rule was not trialled in Super Rugby Aotearoa or Trans-Tasman.

The goal line dropout replaces attacking scrums, initiated when an attacking player is held up over the opposition goal line.

Both changes are set to be trialled for 12 months while the reduction in the one-man penalty for a red card from the rest of a match to just 20 minutes was also considered, but resisted by England and France – who felt the reduction wasn’t sufficient to deter dangerous play.

New Zealand Rugby, on the other hand, are reportedly not please with the introduction of the goal line drop out, given it punishes attacking teams for coming close to scoring a try but not quite getting the ball down over the line.


SANZAAR are due to hold a meeting later today to discuss the rule changes – which won’t impact the upcoming July test matches, but will be in play for the Rugby Championship.

As such, New Zealand’s games against Tonga and Fiji, Australia’s series with France and the Lions tour to South Africa will play out under the current laws – which forces NZ and Australian players to re-adapt, before then switch back to the new laws a month later.

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Report: World Rugby set to introduce two new laws for Rugby Championship, international tests