Line-out law change proposed by World Rugby in bid to make sport safer

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The powers that be of World Rugby are considering making changes to the laws of the game after this year's rugby world cup.

According to a report from The Times, the law is inspired from the rugby league 40-20 kick rule, the union version would be 50-22.

Currently, when the ball is kicked off the pitch, the opposition are awarded with a line-out, however, once this new rule is implemented if the attacking team are to kick the ball out of play from their own half and the ball land out in the final 20 metres they would win themselves the line-out.

The reasoning behind the suggestion of this rule is to reduce head-on collisions and subsequent injuries in the game.

The rule would force teams drop their defensive line further back to prevent teams exploiting the attacking line-outs and therefore reduce the likelihood of those head-on collisions in the defensive areas.

The governing body and French Federation have been holding a three-day player welfare and law symposium in Paris, where a package of new possible laws were proposed to help make the game safer.

Four players died in France between May 2018 and January this year while research also shows that the severity of players injuries are increasing - putting more pressure on World Rugby to act.

Italy v France - Guinness Six Nations

“Rather than just look at the laws [to improve the game as a spectacle] and then whether it has a player welfare impact, we have tried to devise laws that have a direct player welfare impact.” said World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper.

“That’s the first time we’ve looked at it in that sense. This is really about looking at the shape of the game and working out what can actually have a material effect on some of the outcomes we’re having in the injury rates.”

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