Home Australia World Rugby propose RADICAL new rule changes in an attempt to improve the game’s appeal – with global trials in consideration for one of the options

World Rugby propose RADICAL new rule changes in an attempt to improve the game’s appeal – with global trials in consideration for one of the options

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Under current rugby rules, if a player is sent off, he must leave the field immediately and for the duration of the match.
  • Rugby players met at a conference to exchange and propose numerous ideas
  • A shot clock to speed up scrums and lineouts was one of the advanced options
  • The game’s governing body’s council will vote on the proposal in May

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World Rugby – the game’s governing body – is considering introducing a global 20-minute red card trial as part of a number of legislative changes designed to improve its appeal.

Earlier this month, rugby stakeholders held a conference to discuss and propose many ideas to improve the sport on and off the field.

Options put forward included introducing a shot clock to speed up scrums and lineouts, banning the dangerous “crocodile roll” tackle and changing the offside ruling.

But the most eye-catching is the 20-minute red card. Under current rugby rules, if a player is sent off, he must leave the field immediately and for the duration of the match.

According to a new idea put forward, a player who receives a red card would have to leave the field for 20 minutes, leaving his team with a numerical disadvantage.

Under current rugby rules, if a player is sent off, he must leave the field immediately and for the duration of the match.

Under current rugby rules, if a player is sent off, he must leave the field immediately and for the duration of the match.

World Rugby - led by CEO Alan Gilpin (above) - is considering launching a global trial of a 20-minute red card.

World Rugby - led by CEO Alan Gilpin (above) - is considering launching a global trial of a 20-minute red card.

World Rugby – led by CEO Alan Gilpin (above) – is considering launching a global trial of a 20-minute red card.

After this period, the team would then be allowed to bring back a player to replace the one sent off. The 20-minute red card has already been tested in Super Rugby Pacific.

This system has been successful, the aim being to ensure that a player is punished for breaking the laws, but that a match is not entirely ruined by a sending off.

The World Rugby council will vote on the proposal in May. This means that if passed, there could be a global 20-minute red card trial as early as next season.

While such a scenario would undoubtedly divide opinion among rugby participants and supporters, there is no doubt that banning the ‘crocodile roll’ tackle would be a good thing.

Tackling, which involves moving the opponent’s limbs at the contact zone by grabbing them by the torso and using their body weight to roll them sideways, has often resulted in serious injuries.

Making it illegal would be an essential positive measure for the well-being of players.

Meanwhile, England number 8 Ben Earl has been named in a shortlist of four finalists for the Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

Earl was outstanding for Steve Borthwick’s side who finished third in this year’s tournament.

England number 8 Ben Earl has been named in a shortlist of four players for the Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

England number 8 Ben Earl has been named in a shortlist of four players for the Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

England number 8 Ben Earl has been named in a shortlist of four players for the Six Nations Player of the Championship award.

Irish center Bundee Aki, Scottish winger Duhan van der Merwe and young Italian talent Tommaso Menoncello complete the nominees.

On Tuesday, Sale officially confirmed the early departure of England center Manu Tuilagi, who will end his international career with a move to French side Bayonne.

Leicester Tigers have signed Junior Springbok No 8 Corne Beets on a long-term contract ahead of next season. He will replace current South African international Jasper Wiese at Welford Road.

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