We take a look at seven things that need to be changed in rugby in order to avoid continuing to turn fans off of the game.
It seems long gone are the days of players with massive characters in rugby (except maybe the Honey Badger). Most players these days have had the personality trained out of them by ‘media professionals’ which have left post-match interviews as nothing more than a series of clichéd catchphrases.
Whether it be at the scrum, or at the line out, the inability of players to put the ball in straight, and the unwillingness of referees to police this area is ruining the game. The set piece is becoming less and less of a contest and is resulting in players simply looking to win a penalty at every possibility because they can no longer challenge for the ball.
The primary method of scoring points in rugby is through tries, yet this fundamental element of the game is being slowly devalued by the increasing range of players boots. It is now the case that some players can score penalties from anywhere within 50 metres of the posts, meaning there is little incentive for them to risk trying to score tries, resulting in boring kicking contests.
4.Rugby League Coaches
There’s no doubt that rugby league has added a huge amount to union, however their coaches are turning it into a bit of a snooze-fest. The focus is now on stopping the other side scoring rather than attempting to score meaning at times a game can simply be a case of which side can defend for the longest without conceding.
Rugby’s willingness to embrace new technologies has been a fantastic aspect of the game, however things have been taken too far of late. The constant referrals to the Television Match Officials are completely killing the game as a spectacle, leaving fans hanging around waiting for a decision which the referee had the best view of anyway.
Unfortunately one of the biggest problems rugby currently faces is France. Believe it or not I’m not talking about their boring rugby, but instead the increasing dominance of the Top 14. The French clubs huge budgets mean they are stockpiling the worlds best talent and therefore dominating European club rugby whilst negatively impacting on international sides.
Do you think rugby is at risk of becoming too boring for the casual observer?