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20-minute red card green-lit for Rugby Champs

PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images

The 20-minute red card and the 50:22 are among several law variations that have been greenlit for the Rugby Championships set to kick-off on Saturday.

The 20-minute red card and the 50:22 kick have both received rave reviews during their trials in Super Rugby and can now be used in the Rugby Championship after World Rugby approved SANZAAR's request for their implementation in the tournament.

The new red card laws mean that a red-carded player can be replaced after 20-minutes, and a player that has been tactically replaced is able to return to the field to replace a red-carded player, however, teams must have had used their allocated replacements. While the 50-22 kick will see the team that kicked the ball into touch from inside their half into their opposition's 22 area given the throw-in.

The red card replacement was brought into the spotlight last month after Wallabies wing Marika Koroibete was red-carded in the opening minute of the deciding third Test against France. His sinbinning meant his team was forced to player with just 14-men for 76-minutes.

The Wallabies would go on to win the clash, while coach Dave Rennie was left furious by the decision and questioned France captain Anthony Jelonch's acting skills.

"It was terribly milked wasn't it," he said. "He obviously feels he's got some head contact then he's grabbed his face, which is nowhere near the point of impact and it's delayed by five seconds."

The tournament will also include the goal-line dropout, which will see defending teams kick the ball from their try-line if a player is held up or the ball travels in to the in-goal area.

There will also be tweaks around the ruck, which will place further emphasis on sanctioning cleanouts which target or drop their weight onto the lower limbs.