Super Rugby coaches have urged the need to tweak the laws of the game in order to make the sport fairer and more entertaining for fans.
With the All Blacks season over, New Zealand players and coaches have turned their attention to next year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, which starts on February 26.
The head coaches from New Zealand’s five Super Rugby franchises joined a roundtable discussion on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown to talk about the upcoming competition and their preparations in the off-season.
One of the topics discussed was the need for rugby to introduce new rules to help improve the spectacle of the sport which has, in recent times, been dominated by suffocating defensive rugby – especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
New Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan says a rule that is being discussed in rugby circles is the need for a goal line drop out, something he says will help encourage more attacking rugby.
“One of the things that’s been entertained at the moment is bringing in a drop out from the goal line,” McMillan said. “I personally think that’s a good thing. It reduces the amount of five-metre scrums we have and a lot of resets; increases the amount of ball and time play we have.
“It’s what people pay to see. They want to see us play rugby and not have continuous scrum resets so it’s probably a good thing.”
Highlanders coach Tony Brown said the offside line needs to be better policed, adding that he would like to see the introduction of a “breakdown referee”.
“We’ve got to get the offside right,” Brown said. “For me, we need a breakdown referee and then we need an offside referee on the field keeping the offside line back.
“I think the offside line has got to be clearly behind the last feet. So I would go with the referee on the field keeping those guys back to allow the attack to have a little bit more space.
“Because what happens in the game is we attack the breakdown and the referee is in charge of dealing with the breakdown, and then while they’re attacking the breakdown, the defence is getting set and they’re coming at you.
“So give us another half a metre so that the attack can have a bit more space. It will speed the game up, the ball will be in play longer, you hang on to the ball for longer periods.”
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said he “totally agreed” with Brown, while all of the coaches were in general agreement that things needed to change in the sport.
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