World Rugby to introduce 50:22 rule amongst new law changes

World Rugby is reportedly set to introduce the 50:22 rule at all levels of rugby from August 1, as the governing body considers a number of law changes.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the kicking game will receive a rethink after a series of new laws were trialled in Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa earlier this year.

This will see the 50:22 rule and goal-line drop-outs be adopted for a 12-month period, meaning the laws will be in place for the 2021-22 season.

The 50:22 law means that if a player kicks the ball from their own half and it bounces into touch within the opposition’s 22, then the attacking team will receive a lineout.

With the goalline dropout law, if the ball is kicked into the try area and dotted down by the defending side, instead of a 22m dropout they will now have one from the tryline.

It also means that if the ball is held up over the line in the act of scoring, instead of a five-metre scrum to the attacking team, it will now be a turnover and dropout for the defending side.

The adaptation of the laws has been introduced following research conducted by World Rugby, which identified the defensive line as an area that accounted for 50 per cent of injuries and three quarters of concussions.

It is argued the two laws will help to reduce the number of high-impact tackles, encourage reassessment of tackling technique, and provide a better spectacle for fans and television audiences to avoid impractical multi-phase periods.

The other law variation pushed for by the Rugby Australia, in particular, was the 20-minute red card.

World Rugby has, however, not approved this law variation as it was deemed to be in contrast to its intentions to protect player welfare.

The FFR and RFU were reportedly the key drivers behind blocking this law.

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