Rugby union will permanently incorporate five new laws—which have been on trial since last summer—from July 1, meaning rules like the 50:22 kick will be in effect as upcoming World Cups
Image: Antonietta Baldassarre/ Insidefoto/Sipa USA)
Five new rules focused on improving player welfare are set to be written into law by World Rugby as of July 1.
The laws in question have been on trial in both hemispheres since August 2021, and a World Rugby Council voted unanimously in favour of the five being adopted. This means the set will be in full effect at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand later this year, as well as the men’s equivalent at France 2023.
Among those laws cemented are the 50:22—rewarding the attacking team with a line-out if they kick from their own half into the enemy 22′ (with at least one bounce in-field)—and the goal-line drop-out. The other trials deemed successful relate to the restriction of players pre-latching onto ball carriers, as well as tighter controls over clear-out height at the ruck and contact area.
“Rugby ’s laws are fundamental to its accessibility, appeal and safety,” said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont. “It is our mission to ensure that the laws are the best that they can be for everyone playing the game and the approval of these laws following detailed evaluation and widespread consultation, underscores that commitment.
“I would like to thank every player, coach and medic at every level for participating and providing feedback on this trial – your views are important to us and we will continue to consult with you as we work together to cement rugby as the most progressive sport on player welfare.”
Moreover, World Rugby has confirmed the scram brake foot will be moving from a closed to a global trial. This means the scrum safety method first trialled at the 2022 Six Nations will now be trialled in future competitions and tournaments, including the next two World Cups.
Which is your favourite of the new World Rugby laws? Let us know in the comments section.
The confirmation of these laws came following recommendations from World Rugby’s Laws Review Group and the High Performance Rugby Committee. Members of the public and figures from within the sport were also consulted, including players, coaches and match officials.
The news comes on the back of the announcement that England will host the 2025 edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup. That became official on the same day that Australia was confirmed as host for the men’s tournament in 2027, as well as the following women’s contest in 2029.
Taking over after that is the United States, having secured the hosting right for the 2031 and 2033 competitions. World Rugby added it will “continue to evaluate the impact of the new laws,” with a key priority of improving player welfare and head injury prevention.