Rugby journalist Charles Richardson has proposed ten ‘straightforward’ amendments to the laws that could positively transform the sport, particularly in the aftermath of a divisive Rugby World Cup.
During the tournament, the prevalence of coaches expressing dissatisfaction with referees, player outbursts, contentious decisions, and instances of officials and their families receiving death threats overshadowed discussions of remarkable tries or highlight reels.
One could argue that the grandeur of the World Cup may have obscured some of rugby’s underlying issues. Currently, the sport seems to lack a clear sense of identity and direction.
1. Stop coaching
He wrote: ” If a player is offside from chasing a kick, don’t tell them to get back, penalise them!”
2. Reduce TMO involvement
3. Turn all scrum penalties into free-kicks
4. Tidy up maul laws
5. Enforce – and tighten – the ruck ‘use it’ countdown
6. Goal-line drop-outs should be for held-up only (at best)
7. Solve disparity in card severity
8. Reward jackalling that is only clearly and obviously legal
9. Prohibit dummying at scrums and rucks – already in law
10. Abolish the nonsensical ‘direction of hands’ forward-pass law
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Nigel Owen’s law changes for 2024:
#1. Less TMO
Owens wrote: “We should aim for good performances that facilitate good games. In my opinion, perfect has become the enemy of the good because people are striving for a standard that is unachievable. A frustrating over-reliance on the TMO is one result of this fear of getting things wrong.
“Pressure is being exerted on referees by spectators, social media users, coaches, players, performance reviewers and referee managers. That is a lot of people scrutinising everything. I think we need to take a step back and make sure we pick up the things that matter.”Embed from Getty Images