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20-minute red card replacement to be used in Rugby Championship

The 20-minute red card law will be used again in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

The trial law allows a red-carded player to be replaced after 20 minutes.

A red card is displayed in a sports stadium.
Photo: 123RF

This trial would be a continuation of the law trial conducted throughout Super Rugby competitions in 2020, 2021 and 2022 as well as The Rugby Championship in 2021.

SANZAAR chief executive Brendan Morris said all four national unions supported the extension.

“As a group we firmly believe the integrity of international matches is very important and that wherever possible matches must be a contest of fifteen versus fifteen.”

“Within the context of the games’ laws, SANZAAR believes that a 20-minute red card allows for a significant deterrent to deliberate acts of foul play, while it also protects the contest of fifteen on fifteen, which is what our unions, broadcasters and fans are telling us is important.”

“SANZAAR stands alongside World Rugby’s important work on managing foul play and player welfare and will conduct a formal research project across the 2022 TRC period with all comparative findings to be shared with World Rugby at the end of the season. The aim is to gather the necessary information that allows the 20-minute red card trial to be accepted into the full laws of the game in the future.”

“This season we are very excited to be bringing international rugby back to fans across all of our home territories for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic with an innovative new mini-tours format as we are committed to exploring ways to continually improve the competition,” added Morris.

Angus Ta'avao goes off due to injury and was red-carded at the same time. All Blacks vs Ireland 2nd Test Dunedin, 2022.

Angus Ta’avao leaves the field

In the second test against Ireland in Dunedin earlier this month, the All Blacks prop Angus Ta’avao was red-carded and was not able to be replaced.

Red Card Law Trial:

  • If a player is red-carded he may be replaced after 20 minutes by another player. The 20 minutes from when a player is red-carded to when they may be replaced is measured as “game time”. This follows the same measurement of time already in place for a yellow-carded player in the sin bin (sin bin clock is stopped when the game clock is stopped).
  • A player receives a yellow card and is sin-binned for 10 minutes. If the same player, then returns to the field after serving their 10 minutes suspension and subsequently receives a second yellow card, which equates to an automatic red card. After a further 20 minutes the red carded player can be replaced.
  • A player who has been tactically replaced can return to the field to replace a red-carded player. Note if a team has unused replacements (eg #23) still sitting on the bench it does not have to use them to replace a red-carded player before the use of players who have already been substituted tactically (eg #12).
  • Any red-carded player cannot return to the field under any circumstance.

The All Blacks head to South Africa on Friday.

Their first Rugby Championship game is against the Springboks at Mbombela Stadium on 6 August and they meet again a week later at Ellis Park.

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