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Rugby bosses consider bringing in 20-minute red card in global trial

12 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Australia’s Rob Valetini (left) is shown a red card for a tackle on Wales’ Adam Beard. Photo David Davies PA Images

World Rugby will consider introducing the 20-minute red card as a global law trial despite concerns that it could diminish the deterrent effect.

The law, which is being trialled in Super Rugby, means the dismissed player can be tactically replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes.

England lock Charlie Ewels was sent off after 82 seconds against Ireland in the Guinness Six Nations last month, with many observers feeling the dismissal ruined the game as a contest.


World Rugby, however, is determined to keep lowering tackle heights and the Super Rugby trial so far has proved inconclusive.

“That’s been discussed before and will be discussed again,” World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin told the Daily Telegraph.

“It would be great if more competitions, even in a closed trial, would use it because that would give us more of an overview of the effect it would have on the game.

“We need to see more of the data to see whether that strikes the balance between safety and spectacle better.

“There is more work to do to analyse that and the concern is, if a team goes back to 15 players, is that enough of a deterrent to drive that behavioural change.

“We would like to see it trialled more widely before drawing any conclusions.”

World Cups

The 20-minute red card is already available as a closed trial (as per Super Rugby) but cannot be considered for global adoption before the next women’s (later this year) and men’s (2023) Rugby World Cups.

The 20-minute red card was not supported by World Rugby when the global trials were considered back in May 2021, but dispensation was given to any competition wanting to run it as a closed trial.

This weekend World Rugby also confirmed the 50:22, goal line dropout and scrum brake foot global law trials will be adopted permanently at its next council meeting in May.

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Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
2 years ago

“strikes the balance between safety and spectacle better”

Rugby is a sport to be played not a spectacle like the Romans used to stage.

It has been damaged almost beyond repair at the professional end, and maybe it is time for the pro business to be entirely separated from the real game.

2 years ago

What? Have the “multiball” and “dodgeball” rounds been discarded? I always hoped they’d introduce bludgers and the golden snitch. That would be a spectacle.

Last edited 2 years ago by Llinos

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