The world body introduced a number of experimental laws during the course of 2019 with one of the main objectives to make the game more attractive and promote attacking play. 

The “50/22” law will be introduced by SA Rugby in the competition, to be played from 23 to 27 September at Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl, and Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

50/22 law:

A team will retain the lineout throw if they kick the ball into touch inside the opposition 22m from inside their own half provided that the ball is not kicked directly into touch. The halfway line is deemed to be “inside their own half”. The ball may not be touched by ANY player.

It is believed that this will open more opportunities for teams with good attack systems. The importance of a good lineout will be pivotal, as will quality possession from first phase play. The decision-making by the half backs on attack and the back three on defence will also be tested.

Tournament format:

The Coastal Section, which will run concurrently with the Iqhawe Week at Paarl Gymnasium, features four teams, namely Boland, Eastern Province, DHL Western Province and the Cell C Sharks.

The Inland Section, which will be hosted at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, will feature six teams, namely the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Valke, Toyota Free State, Xerox Golden Lions, Leopards and Phakisa Pumas.

The teams in the Coastal Section will each face each other once during pool play, with the top team on the standings at the end of the three rounds advancing to the final, while the Inland Section will be played in a knock-out format based on the teams’ log positions from the 2018 season, with the top team earning their place in the final.

SA Rugby U19 Championship fixtures:

Inland Section: Emirates Airline Park

Monday, 23 September:

10h00: Toyota Free State v Leopards (QF3)

12h00: Vodacom Blue Bulls v Valke (QF1)

14h00: Xerox Golden Lions v Phakisa Pumas (QF2)

Wednesday, 25 September:

10h00: Playoff – Two teams that do not qualify for semi-finals

12h00: Semi-final 2 – Winner QF2 vs Winner QF3

14h00: Semi-final 1 – Winner of QF1 vs Best loser (based on points’ difference)

Friday, 27 September:

10h00: Two last-placed teams according to rankings

11h30: Two best-placed runners up according to rankings

13h00: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

Coastal Section: Paarl Gymnasium

Saturday, 28 September:

15h30: Cell C Sharks v DHL Western Province

14h00: Eastern Province v Boland

Tuesday, 24 September:

14h30: DHL Western Province v Boland

16h00: Eastern Province v Cell C Sharks

Thursday, 26 September:

14h30: DHL Western Province v Eastern Province

16h00: Boland v Cell C Sharks

Final: Date and venue TBC