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'This is a great decision': Red card rules changed for The Rugby Championship

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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The 20-minute red card will be used during the Rugby Championship after SANZAAR decided to reintroduce the law trial.


The ruling has been used for the past three Super Rugby seasons and in last year’s Rugby Championship but has so far been rejected by World Rugby for a global trial with July Tests played under traditional rules.

Allowing red-carded players to be replaced after 20 minutes, southern hemisphere teams are continuing to push for its acceptance and will use it to gather more supporting evidence through the upcoming series that involves Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

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“This is a great decision for The Rugby Championship and follows on from its application in Super Rugby,” SANZAAR boss Brendan Morris said.

“As a group we firmly believe the integrity of international matches is very important and that wherever possible matches must be a contest of 15 versus 15.”


Morris said SANZAAR collectively felt the 20-minute red card was a significant deterrent to deliberate acts of foul play while not ruining the game’s spectacle.


However northern hemisphere organisations feel it’s dangerous and not enough of a punishment to drive behavioural and coaching change.

“SANZAAR stands alongside World Rugby’s important work on managing foul play and player welfare and will conduct a formal research project across the 2022 TRC period with all comparative findings to be shared with World Rugby at the end of the season,” Morris said.

“The aim is to gather the necessary information that allows the 20-minute red card trial to be accepted into the full laws of the game in the future.”



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