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World body agrees to 6 safety trials

ReutersLONDON (Reuters) — World Rugby has agreed trials of new laws to make tackling safer and prevent injuries, it announced on Thursday.

The six law trials follow a comprehensive evaluation by the expert Law Review Group that concluded that 50 percent of injuries and 76 percent of concussions occurred in tackles.

Depending on the success of the trials some of the new rules could be in place by the 2023 World Cup.

One of the closed trials will be to reduce tackle height to the waist in a bid to reduce head injuries.

The others are:

■50:22 kick — If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside its own half indirectly into touch inside its opponents’ 22 or from inside its own 22 into the opponents’ half, it will throw in to the resultant lineout.

■The High Tackle Technique Warning — Successfully tested at the World Rugby U20 Championship for the last two years, reducing the incidence of concussion by more than 50 percent.

■Review a yellow card when a player is in the sin-bin for dangerous foul play to ensure players who are guilty of serious foul play do not escape with a yellow card rather than red.

■The introduction of an infringement (penalty and free kick) limit for teams. Once a team has reached the limit, a mandatory yellow card is given to the last offending player as a team sanction.

■The awarding of a goal-line drop-out to the defending team when an attacking player, who brings the ball into in-goal, is held up.

The infringement limit, the 50:22 kick and the goal-line drop-out have all been OK’d for closed trials in the National Rugby Championship in Australia. World Rugby’s executive committee has also ratified further evaluation into a reduction in replacements.

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