There will also be law changes at the breakdown

World Rugby law trials to include 50:22 kick

World Rugby have unveiled five welfare-based law trials which will come into force, globally, on 1 August. Within this will be the 50:22 kick and several changes at the breakdown.

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 opposition22 before going into touch, the kicking team gets the throw at the resultant lineout. The law has been used in Super Rugby AU already. 

The hope is that with this law, more space will be freed up across the pitch as players drop back to field tactical kicks.

Related: Independent concussion consultants part of World Rugby player welfare plan

 the goal-line drop-out will also be trialled globally, while three further law trials 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.

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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