We explain the law on kicking from your half into opposition territory

Back in 2021, World Rugby unveiled five welfare-based law trials. Within that was the 50:22 kick (as well as several changes at the breakdown). And the kick has become a mainstay of the game, getting fans out of their seat to applaud.

Keep an eye out for it during the 2024 Six Nations. Below is an explainer of how it works…

How does 50:22 kick work?

With the 50:22 law in place, if an attacking team kicks the ball from anywhere in their own half and it bounces inside the opposition’s 22 before then bouncing into touch, the kicking team gets the throw at the resultant lineout.  

Related: Watch: Schoolboy’s monster 50:22 kick

When this kicking law came in the hope was that with it, more space will be freed up across the pitch as players drop back to field tactical kicks.

Other laws that came in with the 50:22 kick

The goal-line drop-out is another law trial that stuck as well as ones relating to the breakdown come in, including a trial law to prevent clearers at the breakdown from targeting the lower limbs of defenders – the hope is to avoid horrific injuries.

Related: Watch: Mind-blowing Ben Meehan kick dubbed “22:22”

One of the other laws will prohibit the creation of attacking pods of three or more players, pre-binding before getting the ball or taking contact. With one-player latches, they can still take place, however World Rugby have made some tweaks to what is allowed. Latchers will now be treated like the player arriving at the ruck, so that they must enter through the gate, stay on their feet and not fall over the other side of the breakdown. For the latching offences, the punishment will be a penalty.

These law trials come in as part of World Rugby’s stated aim to make rugby “a safer, more sustainable game that future generations can enjoy” which includes a six-point plan to advance player welfare in rugby.

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