An interview with two-time World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw was recently shared on the Rugby World Cup’s social media pages where he answered questions from fans.
These included revealing the best player he came up against in his career, Geoge Smith, to what he thought of Faf de Klerk’s hair. However, he was also asked what changes he would make to rugby currently – and he responded by suggesting the clock should be stopped for scrums.
The legendary flanker said that “a scrum can eat up a lot of time in the game” so stopping the clock until the ball is fed would alleviate such a problem.
This suggestion has proven to be popular among fans, as this has been an area of concern for many over the years.
All too frequently reset scrums can consume a huge amount of time on a clock and while there have been many law changes to make scrums less susceptible to collapse, there is still room for improvement.
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Perhaps the most agonising part of the game is when a scrum is awarded in the final few minutes of a match, as it often ends the contest prematurely with the ball never escaping after a series of interventions from the referee.
Absolutely agree with this, but would extend each game by about 20 mins.
That could be compensated for by banning water boys (coaches) from coming on the pitch every time play stops. Should only come on when the ref allows. Physios/Drs exempt for injured players
— Iain (@IainMellis1) December 17, 2019
I have been saying this for years. It’s a must
— Jim chater (@jim_chater) December 17, 2019
Not rocket science, just get it passed.
Also cut the bench numbers,
— Robert Caldicott (@robcaldicott) December 17, 2019
Good idea especially when teams are struggling to hold a scrum up and need 2 or 3 goes every time
— LoudPurpleGirraffe (@LGirraffe) December 17, 2019
McCaw’s amendment is not without its criticism, however, as some feel that this would lengthen games considerably. While there would obviously be more ball in play time, it is not inconceivable to say that matches would be 20 minutes or longer. On wetter days where errors are more likely, this could rise even more.
Game would go on about 5 hours
— Nicholas Mackrill (@Nicknacknu) December 17, 2019
Then it would take even longer to set a scrum!!
and while all this is going on in the depths of winter, the wingers are dying of hypothermia and the fans have fallen asleep!
— Trixie LaBouche (@Signsurfer) December 17, 2019
Of course, this is not a foolproof idea by McCaw, as he was ultimately only given a short period of time to think of an answer. But he has nonetheless raised an issue that concerns a vast number of rugby fans, and something that many want to see addressed.
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