Former Springbok head coach Jake White wants to do away with team announcements in rugby union.
Writing in his column for alloutrugby.com, White says team announcements 48 hours before a game in the XV man code are bad for the sport and the long held procedure is making it harder for smaller teams to get the drop on the giants of the game.
White, who led the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory in 2007 was at a Premiership Football match and said the late team announcements were a talking point on the day of the game, and thinks a similar approach could work in rugby union.
“In a competition that’s become as lopsided as Super Rugby, with Kiwi teams dominating all comers, keeping lineups a secret until matchday might give lesser sides a shot at upsetting the contenders. It would even things out because coaches would be under pressure to contingency plan for whether the opposing lineup is strong, weak, full of speedsters or weighted towards a power style of play.
Continue reading below…
“Look what it did for the Lions, the only SA team to win in New Zealand this season.
“We’re talking about a sport that’s becoming more and more technical and where analysis is playing a bigger role every season. By unveiling the team two days in advance, your plans are telegraphed to your opponents and they know what’s coming.”
He concludes by saying: “Pushing back the team announcement would add a level of excitement to the matchday experience for supporters and a layer of unpredictability to the contest.
“In the Art of War, Sun Tzu says, “If your enemy reacts to you, you’re in a position of strength.”
Read White’s full alloutrugby.com column here.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.