Six new rugby rules ready for the next World Cups

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PHOTO: Aurelien Meunier/ World Rugby via Getty Images
PHOTO: Aurelien Meunier/ World Rugby via Getty Images

After a year long trial of the five “welfare driven” laws, World Rugby Council this week voted unanimously to start the player protecting rules on July 1.

They laws are:

50:22

If a player kicks the ball from his own half and it bounces before going out of play in the opposition 22, his team is given the throw into the resulting line-out, in a prime attacking position.

Goal Line Drop-Out

The new law rewards the defensive team with a goal-line drop-out whenever they have held the opposition up over their line, rather than the previous five metre scrum to the attacking team.

Pre-Bound Pods of Players

The Flying Wedge, where three or more players pre-bound to form a running wedge before receiving the ball, is now outlawed, with the sanction a penalty kick should players attack while holding on to each other.

Sanctioning of lower-limb clearout

Players who target or drop their weight onto the lower limbs of a jackler (the first arriving team-mate of the tackler at the tackle) will be sanctioned with a penalty kick.

One player latch

Only one player may latch to jackler, but has the same responsibilities as a first-arriving player, i.e. the second latching must stay on feet, enter through gate and not fall to floor.

The sanction will be a penalty kick.

Hookers’ brake foot

Meanwhile, World Rugby added that the “scrum brake foot” — which was trialled in the Six Nations — will move from a closed to global trial, meaning it will also feature at the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2022 and 2023.

The rules requires that both hookers must ensure one foot — the “brake foot” — is extended towards the opposition during the crouch and bind phases of the engagement sequence.

A free-kick will be given if the brake foot is not applied

In making the announcements, World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont thanked all the players, coach and medics for providing feedback on the year-long trials.

World Rugby Chief Player Welfare and Rugby Services Officer Mark Harrington added the new laws will help to reduce the risk of injury in rugby and forms part of ongoing review to make rugby simple and safe.

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