Rugby Championship again trials 20-minute red card rule

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Springboks' Faf de Klerk kicks the ball against the All Blacks
Springboks' Faf de Klerk kicks the ball against the All Blacks
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The 20-minute red card rule will again be trialled during the Rugby Championship next month, organisers said on Thursday.

The competition's controlling body Sanzaar said that if a player is sent off, he may be replaced after 20 minutes by another player.

The rule adaption was also trialled during the Super Rugby tournaments in 2020, 2021 and 2022 - as well as the Rugby Championship last year.

Sanzaar CEO Brendan Morris said they believe that "a 20-minute Red Card" is a significant deterrent "to deliberate acts of foul play, while it also protects the contest of fifteen on fifteen, which is what our unions, broadcasters and fans are telling us is important".

The modified rule is being trialled with the aim "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," Morris added.

The Rugby Championship - involving South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia - also sees the reintroduction of a mini-tours format, abandoning the usual home-and-away structure.

Each nation will host a two-match tour and play two games away with only the third set of matches, involving New Zealand against Australia and South Africa against Argentina, remaining home-and-away.

The Rugby Championship kicks off on the weekend of 6 August, when South Africa host New Zealand and Australia are away to Argentina.

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