Brumbies captain and Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa doesn’t support a scrum clock innovation, but likes the idea of a sent off player being replaced after 20 minutes.
Both measures are among those being considered for the Super Rugby AU tournament set to start on July 3.
A scrum clock has been mooted as a way of speeding the game up with administrators looking to keep the ball in play more and avoid numerous time draining and audience infuriating scrum resets.
However, 37 Test forward Alaalatoa has concerns about player safety being compromised.
“For me as a front-rower you can’t really rush a scrum, because there’s obviously a lot of safety issues there,” Alaalatoa said.
“I’m more for the scrum reset so if the scrum collapses you just award the attacking side (a penalty).
“We can’t have three or four collapsed scrums.
“In terms of racing to a scrum and trying to set it early, I’m probably against that.
“I definitely feel once a scrum has been called by the ref I think the boys have got to get on their bike to get there.
“But in terms of setting up the scrum between the two sides I think that has to take time because obviously there’s a lot of safety techniques that we have been learning throughout our careers so we don’t end up with serious injuries, and a scrum is a place where you can end up with a serious injury.”
Alaalatoa was more enthusiastic about the possibility of replacing a dismissed player after a 20-minute period, an innovation which will be used in New Zealand’s domestic Super Rugby tournament.
“I think it’s great, any changes that’s going to bring more viewers to the game is definitely something worth looking at,” Alaalatoa said.
“Once you get a red card you kind of already have that mentality of ‘have we lost the game’?
“If you lose someone really early 20 minutes it’s a good time for the other team to take advantage of that.”
The enforced break caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the suspension of the full Super Rugby tournament, has helped Alaalatoa, who broke an arm in the Brumbies’ last game.
“There’s a silver lining, in that I’m probably the only person who’s broken their arm and not missed a game,” he said.
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