James Haskell calls for controversial law change ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

James Haskell calls for controversial law change ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup

James Haskell strongly advocates for the relaxation of the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) rules regarding the selection of overseas players, assuring that it would not result in a mass exodus.

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The current regulations, implemented in 2011, stipulate that individuals who choose to play rugby overseas are no longer eligible for selection to represent England.

However, certain exceptional circumstances have been granted in the past, as seen with Willis, who was selected for the Six Nations due to limited options following Wasps’ mid-season collapse.

Nevertheless, there is now increased scrutiny regarding Willis’ own eligibility, as he recently extended his contract with Toulouse until 2026. This places additional pressure on the RFU to reconsider their rules and review the situation.

Speaking to The Mirror, Haskell said: “I think you should 100 per cent do it (change the overseas law). I don’t see why you wouldn’t do it, I don’t think it makes a difference.


” I think players should have the opportunity to go and play abroad, if that’s where the market it is. What are the downsides? All your talent is going to go across.. it just doesn’t work like that.

“They’re not going to steal every player. It makes it more competitive, you get more life experience, gives more opportunities to shine and it is an incentive to improve the game in England. I just think that is the market, I managed to do it but not every player would do it, it is not made for every player.

“When I was at Stade, (Johnny) Sexton and (Dan) Lydiate went to Racing 92 – they all come back. You’ve got to be a certain type of player and those regional guys, the Welsh, the Irish, they’re not all cut out for playing abroad.

“Some love it, but others come from close communities, they’re looked after well at the likes of Leinster, they’re round their families. Some can stomach it and boss it out, but not everyone will do it.”

Nigel Owens calls for FIVE law changes ahead of 2023 World Cup

Owens, who hung up his whistle two years ago, has come up with five possible changes to encourage expansive rugby.

#1. Scrap the goal-line dropout

Owens wrote: “As for goal-line dropouts, I was a big fan initially because I felt it would prevent attacking teams from numerous pick-and-gos near the try line, with teams instead attempting to move the ball wide to avoid being held up and losing possession.

” But I’m not sure it has worked as planned. We still see plenty of pick-and-gos until teams get over, we still see plenty of mauls and the number of collisions hasn’t decreased.

“We are also seeing fewer scrums near the goal line, and to be honest I’m not sure that is a good thing. The scrum needs to be an important part of the game, and right now we are not seeing the benefits of it. Rugby must continue to be a game for all shapes and sizes, and at all levels, too.

Attacking teams are also kicking longer knowing that if the ball rolls dead, the defending team has to do a goal-line dropout and they can get the ball back.

“We’ve also lost the short dropouts we used to see from the 22-metre line where teams would compete to win the ball back, or a quick dropout would be taken, because teams now backed up on their goal line just kick the ball long to escape and what happens? The opposition kick it back.

“From initially believing it would work, I would now like the goal-line dropout law to go to be honest. If anything it is having a negative effect.”