French competition Top 14 has announced controversial rule changes that will see a blue card introduced along with a change in substitutions.
According to the new rule, clubs can make as many as 12 substitutions in the game with players replaced allowed to return back to the field later on in contrary to the current rule which allows players to return back to the action only if they had left the field for a blood injury or a Head Injury Assessment or a sin-bin.
The rule change comes despite pundits calling for a reduction in substitutes to curb concussions in the game as the new rule allows the players to return to the field refreshed, thereby increasing the chances of them causing damages to tired opponents already on the field.
Meanwhile, the blue card concept which is already present in the provincial New Zealand domestic competitions has also been introduced with a motive to combat concussions.
According to the rule, the blue card will allow the referee to send-off the player permanently if he has suspected a head injury. Also, the player will have to undergo a 10-day compulsory rest before he returns back to the game.
The rules will come into effect next month when the 2018/19 season of Top 14 begins.