What Is A 50:20 In Rugby?

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Written By Hutch

Numerous rules and terminology govern rugby, some of which can be difficult to understand, especially for beginners. One such law is the 50:22. Although the 50:22 rule has gained quite a lot of popularity in rugby today, it still raises some eyebrows as to how it works. In this article, we will cover in greater detail what the 50:22 rule is and its effect during games.

What Is The 50:22 Rule And How Does It Work?

The 50:22 rule in rugby union is similar to rugby league’s 40:20. To break this down, if a team kicks the ball from their half and it bounces into touch in the opposition’s 22-meter area, they get a lineout throw. Although it may not provide a direct advantage, the rule encourages attacking play and strategic kicking, creating more space on the field.

What Makes The 50:22 Rule Effective?

A successfully executed 50:22 kick provides territorial advantage and attacking options to the kicking team, as seen in this tweet from @ek_rugby

Almost got the 50:22 as a cherry on top, but much 

better kick from Jimmy O’Brien. 

Making the defense turn close to the 5m line gives Ireland a lineout in a great position.


In the following section, we have outlined why the 50:22 rule can be an effective tool for the executing team.

Territorial Advantage When the executing team kicks the ball from their half into touch within the opponent’s 22-meter area, this earns the team a lineout in attacking territory, setting up opportunities for potent attacking plays.
Defensive Disarray The team using the 50:22 tactic has different attacking options. They can opt for a structured attacking lineout with planned moves to exploit defensive weaknesses or choose a quick throw-in for a dynamic and unexpected attack that catches the opposition off guard.
Provides More Attacking Options The 50:22 rule creates gaps in the defending team’s line as they spread their players deep to cover kicks, leaving spaces for the attacking team to exploit.



  1. Does the 50:22 rule apply in all forms of rugby?

The adoption of the 50:22 rule may vary between different forms of rugby. It is commonly seen in certain rugby union competitions but might not be present in all variations of the game.  

  1. How does the 50:22 rule contribute to strategic gameplay? 

Teams can use the 50:22 rule strategically to gain territory, force opponents into defensive positions, and create scoring opportunities by securing possession from the resulting lineout. 

  1. Can the 50/22 rule be combined with other tactics? 

Yes, teams often incorporate the 50:22 rule into their overall tactical approach, combining it with other strategies to outmaneuver the opposition and gain a competitive advantage.


The 50:22 rule in rugby is a dynamic addition to the sport, introducing a tactical nuance that enhances attacking opportunities and strategic kicking. As teams continue to refine their understanding and implementation of this rule, it remains a compelling aspect contributing to the evolving dynamics of the game.

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