Teams in the French professional rugby leagues of the Top 14 and Pro D2 might be able to field 12 replacements per match next season, up from the current eight.
In a joint statement, the French rugby federation and the LNR, the body that runs professional rugby in France, said the proposed increase in the number of subs was in response to a medical study on how to best avoid injuries in the sport.
The proposal requires the stamp of approval from World Rugby, but the LNR told AFP it was confident of getting the green light for the radical change. A response from World Rugby was expected within two weeks.
Should the proposal go through, it would allow any “tactical” replacement to come back on for a teammate who had been injured or suffered a knock to the head.
Currently, only front row forwards are allowed to re-enter the field of play in case of injury to the vital positions of prop and hooker.
Another new rule is the introduction of a blue card. If a referee suspects an obvious sign of concussion, he/she can remove that player from the field of play permanently and subsequently, that player must undergo a mandatory 10-day rest period.