SANZAAR have confirmed that it is re-introducing the 20-minute red card law trial for the 2022 Rugby Championship, where by a player red carded can be replaced after 20 minutes.

The law trial has been in running for the Super Rugby competitions in 2020, 2021 and 2022. It was applied to the 2021 Rugby Championship and will now be extended for the 2022 tournament, which gets underway on Saturday 6 August.

SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris commented, "This is a great decision for The Rugby Championship and follows on from its application in Super Rugby. All the SANZAAR national unions - Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - are fully behind the extension of the red-card law trail.

"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."

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.