Sunday, 24 March 2019

New law trials on the horizon for Rugby

A few interesting bits and pieces to come out of last week's three-day player welfare and law symposium in Paris, with World Rugby considering a handful of radical proposals for new laws to be trialled after the World Cup.

With player safety at the forefront, French amateur rugby will trial a new approach to the tackle laws, with the height of a legal tackle being lowered to the waistline and the two-man tackle being outlawed. There is no doubt that such an approach would fundamentally change the game, making it easier to break through tackles and to offload. This may or may not improve the game and it may or may not prove safer - although logically it makes sense - but unless you try these things you'll never know.

Another morsel of interest is the proposed introduction of a "50-22" law whereby the attacking team is awarded the throw-in at a lineout when the ball is kicked from within their own half and bounces into touch inside the opponent’s 22. The idea is that defenders would need to drop back to defend the kick and leave more space in the defensive line, ergo fewer collisions. It may work (although beware of unintended consequences) and it may not - but, again, probably worth a try...

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