South Africa's Varsity Cup competition, contested by the country's top rugby playing universities, is set to trial a 'new innovative rule' in next year's season.

The proposed Power Play system would allow the captains from each team to remove any two nominated backline players from the opposition for a three minute period.

The Power Play must be called while in their own half, can only be used once, and if the team whose players have been removed score a try within the three minute period they would be awarded two extra points (seven points before the conversion).

Chester Williams, former World Cup winner and coach at the University of Western Cape, has given the proposed new rule his full support.


"The new rule will be good for players, coaches and, most of all, spectators going into next year's competition, as it keeps the game fresh," Williams told the Telegraph.

"Power Play will really keep the game fluid and allow for some innovative thinking from the coaches. It will be tactically and strategically challenging for all of the coaches, and will be interesting to see how other coaches react."

CEO of Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield, Duister Bosman, also backed the idea and said the new rule could benefit the game.

"This innovative new rule will foster a generation of rugby players who will be able to defend with fewer teammates on the field and will know how to fully utilise a numerical advantage," she said.

The Varsity Cup has trialled other new rules in the past such as the introduction of the nine-point series, were if a try began and possession maintained between the half-way line and the opponent's 22, an additional two bonus points would be awarded.

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Other experiments included the 'free-catch rule' which allowed players to call a mark anywhere on the field when they caught a kick, and during 2014 and 2015 matches featured two referees who worked in tandem.

The Varsity Cup will kick off on January 29 and although unions have projected mild interest in the Power Play rule, it remains to be seen if the new idea will take off.