World Rugby law trials confirmed for domestic competitions

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In addition to the World Rugby trial, all three domestic competitions will also feature the Red Card Replacement and Golden Point laws introduced by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) during Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa. 

CLICK HERE for a full breakdown and explanation of the World Rugby Law trials and New Zealand Rugby Law Innovations. 

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. 

World Rugby’s safety law trials include the banning of the “flying wedge” tactic of more than two players binding together with the ball carrier, and a crackdown on the way attacking players remove, or clean out, the jackler – a term for a defensive player trying to steal the ball from a tackled player – at the breakdown.  

One attacking player will still be allowed to bind with, or ‘latch’ onto, the ball carrier, prior to contact, but that ‘latched’ player will be required to 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. Our coaches and players are very creative and I’m sure they will develop some innovative attacking and kick strategies around this,” 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. 


The new rules will be in effect for the first time when the Auckland Storm hosts the Bay of Plenty Volcanix in the opening game of the Farah Palmer Cup at Eden Park on Saturday 17 July at 12.05pm. Click HERE for the full Farah Palmer Cup draw.