New Zealand Under 20 drawn in tough pool at the World Rugby Under 20 Championships

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New Zealand's opening game is against Wales on Sunday, June 30, at DHL Stadium in Cape Town.

It will play France at Athlone Sports Stadium on Friday, July 5, and Spain on Wednesday, July 10 at Danie Craven Stadium at Stellenbosch. The semifinals will be played on Monday, July 15, and the finals on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20.

The tournament will be played under law changes to reduce the prevalence of 'kick tennis', the lack of space, slow ball from caterpillar rucks, use of technology and set piece dead time.

Six trial laws will also be used during the tournament. These include a revised red card sanction process to promote consistency and simplicity. Automatic sanctions will apply with suspensions for set periods, with no mitigation, to be issued for red card sanctions for situations where a player has attempted to make a legal tackle.

A disciplinary panel will consider more severe acts of foul play.

The automatic bans for red cards involving foul play involve an automatic two-week standdown.

Aggravated foul play will result in an automatic four-week ban. This is when a player has caused a highly reckless action and/or a non-legal rugby action, including a tucked arm, no attempt to wrap, or a driving tackle.

A red-carded player will be able to be replaced by another player after 20 minutes during the Under-20 championship.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "This is a trial, and it is important to remember that the ability to replace a red-carded player after 20 minutes is coupled with sanctions that are strong, clear and will not be mitigated down.

"This supports consistency and agility by making the disciplinary process less influenced by lawyers."

Beaumont is confident that South Africa's Rugby Union will follow up on its staging of the tournament last year with another outstanding experience.

"We are also very excited to see the law amendments which will improve the on-field spectacle for anyone watching, promoting an exciting, attacking brand of rugby."


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