World Rugby will allow new laws designed to protect tacklers and jacklers, the 50:22 kicking law and the goal-line dropout to be used globally from August 1st as part of a global trial.
If successful, these laws could be implemented worldwide and have an effect on Irish teams, including the international side.
In addition to this, some competitions, including New Zealand provincial competitions, will also feature the Red Card Replacement and Golden Point laws introduced by New Zealand Rugby during Super Rugby Aotearoa.
New Zealand’s top female players will be among the first in the world to trial the new World Rugby safety laws when the Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings Warehouse kicks off this weekend.
“These laws will be coming in at all levels of the game globally from 1 August, so we are fortunate that our FPC players will be among the first in the world to start getting used to what could quickly become the norm at all levels. The objective of a number of these laws is to make the game safer for players,” NZR Head of High Performance Mike Anthony said.
The trials will include the banning of the pods of more than two players binding together with the ball-carrier, and a crackdown on the way players remove, or clean out, the jackler.
One player will be allowed to bind with the ball-carrier prior to contact but they must stay on their feet.
“At the breakdown, attacking players who clean out the jackler by targeting their lower limbs or drop their weight onto them will be penalised with the aim of reducing the injury risk to any defending players being cleaned out,” Anthony said.
The 50:22 law is when a kick made by the team in possessions half lands in the field of play and proceeds to go out inside the opposition 22, the team who originally kicked is rewarded with a line out.
“The intention is to create more attacking space by having the defensive team put players back to cover the backfield. With reduced numbers in the defensive line this may also reduce line speed. It will be interesting to see how teams’ approach this, particularly around defending the backfield space,” said Anthony.
Although they will not be part of World Rugby’s Global Law Trial, NZR has gained approval to use the popular Red Card replacement and will also continue to use Golden Point in all domestic competitions.
“We believe the ability to replace a red-carded player after 20 minutes is better for players and fans and maintains the contest for all involved.
“The Golden Point creates real drama when matches finish in a tie at full time, but we will only be using the law during the round-robin, not during the finals,” said Anthony.