Rainbow Cup to include red card replacement after period of 20 minutes

Captain’s challenge and goal-line dropout will also be brought in from southern hemisphere

In the upcoming  Rainbow Cup, a player that has been red carded can be replaced after a period of 20 minutes. Photograph:  Ryan Hiscott/Inpho

In the upcoming Rainbow Cup, a player that has been red carded can be replaced after a period of 20 minutes. Photograph: Ryan Hiscott/Inpho

 

Three law variations currently in use in the southern hemisphere Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU competitions have been approved by World Rugby for trial purposes in the upcoming Rainbow Cup tournament.

Red card replacements, a captain’s challenge and goal-line dropouts will be in play when the Rainbow Cup – it comprises the four Irish provinces, four Welsh, two Scottish, two Italian clubs and four South African franchises – commences on Friday week.

The advocacy for the new laws according to the tournament organisers centres on “presenting teams with new dynamics that allow for positive play and enhanced decision-making outcomes”.

Under the new laws, a team may replace a player who receives a red card after 20 minutes with one of the nominated replacements. The offending player cannot return to the pitch. The 20-minute period refers to the game clock so any stoppages in play won’t count towards the time elapsed in exactly the same fashion that currently pertains to a yellow card/sin bin sanction.

The red card replacement law also applies to a player who receives two yellow cards in a match; an automatic red. Players who have been introduced from the bench for tactical reasons may be used to replace a team-mate who has received a red card. The usual replacement laws continue to apply in that a replaced player may return for an injured frontrower, injury due to foul play, HIA or blood.

The ‘captain’s challenge’ borrows a little from cricket when under certain circumstances an umpire’s decision can be challenged. Each team is allowed one per match and can be used for try-scoring and foul play incidents, or to challenge most other refereeing decisions in the last five minutes of a match.

In those instances the television match official (TMO) and the referee will review the footage in adjudicating on the challenge. Challenges can only be made within 20 seconds of a referee whistling to stop play and must refer to incidents in the last passage of play prior to the stoppage. If successful a team gets to keep their challenge but otherwise loses it.

Prior to the 75th minute a team may only challenge to check on a perceived infringement in the build-up to a try or to review foul play. In the last five minutes of a match including any additional time, providing a team retains a right to challenge, most whistled decisions may be queried.

The TMO will be able to go back to the previous stoppage in play irrespective of how long the timeframe elapsed. Captains must refer to ‘specific’ incidents and infringements. Footage must provide clear evidence of a mistake for a challenge to be upheld but any scrum or lineout infringements cannot be queried under the new law.

Other things that cannot be challenged include where a restart in play has happened including a quick tap or quick throw in has been taken, so the team has chosen to play quickly and non-decisions, where a referee does not whistle for a decision and play continues (unless there is foul play).

A goal-line dropout will be awarded in the following circumstances: when a player from the attacking team is held-up over the line, knocks-on that occur in goal or when the ball is grounded by a defending player in the in-goal area after a kick through.

The defending team will take a dropout from anywhere on or behind the goal line and must do so without delay. The ball must break the plane of the line and travel a minimum of five metres. If this does not occur, the non-kicking team may request the kick to be retaken or receive a five-metre scrum in line with where the kick was taken.

A missed penalty kick at goal or a missed drop goal attempt will still result in a 22-metre dropout for the defending team.

Red card replacement

A team may replace a player who receives a red card after 20 minutes with one of the nominated replacements. The offending player cannot return to the pitch. The 20-minute period refers to the game clock so any stoppages in play won’t count towards the time elapsed.

Captain’s challenge

Each team is allowed one per match and can be used for try-scoring and foul play incidents, or to challenge most other refereeing decisions in the last five minutes of a match. It cannot be used to query set piece infringements, after a quick tap or throw or where a referee does not whistle for a decision and play continues (unless there is foul play).

Goal-line dropout

When a player from the attacking team is held-up over the line, knocks-on that occur in-goal or when the ball is grounded by a defending player in the in-goal area after a kick through. The defending team will take a dropout from anywhere on or behind the goal-line and must occur without delay. The ball must break the plane of the line and travel five metres.

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