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Contentious North try prompts World Rugby rule change

Wales winger North scored in the 34th minute while England had yet to send on a temporary replacement for scrumhalf Willi Heinz, who had to come off the field to have a head injury assessment.

Wales' wing George North (C) gets tackled during the international Test rugby union match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium in west London on 11 August 2019. Picture: AFP

MELBOURNE - World Rugby has changed a rule governing restarts in the wake of George North’s contentious try for Wales in their 13-6 win over England in Cardiff on Saturday.

Wales winger North scored in the 34th minute while England had yet to send on a temporary replacement for scrumhalf Willi Heinz, who had to come off the field to have a head injury assessment.

England were momentarily down to 13 men at that point as they had already lost winger Anthony Watson to a yellow card.

England coach Eddie Jones later remarked that referee Pascal Gauzere should have got a “yellow card” for allowing play to restart before the replacement had taken the field.

The global governing body said the amended rule meant play would only be able to restart once temporary replacement players had taken the field.

“World Rugby has announced an immediate amendment to Law 3 to stipulate that a match cannot restart until a player leaving the field of play for a blood injury or Head Injury Assessment (HIA) has been temporarily replaced,” it said in a statement.

“The amendment, approved by the international federation’s Executive Committee, codifies an area that was previously at the discretion of the referee.”

Wales’ victory ensured they swiped the world number one ranking from New Zealand a month out from the World Cup in Japan.

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