With concerns that simulation may be creeping it’s way into rugby, it has been announced divers will be shown yellow cards at the sport’s showpiece tournament.
Any player believed to have taken a tumble, or to be feigning injury will be given their marching orders as officials are directed to eradicate the issue from the game. Officials Chairman John Jeffrey has forced the issue after concerns about simulation creeping into the sport.
Although the cases of rugby players simulating have been few and far between, there have been several high profile cases of late with the likes of Richard Hibbard, Bryan Habana and Yoann Huget all taking a tumble under minimal contact.
Jeffreys is believed to want to uphold rugby’s values during the World Cup as the sport appears in front of a global audience. The Television Match Official (TMO) will be utilised for decisions in a bid to ensure offenders do not go unpunished.
There will also be a clamp down on players appealing to officials for a decision who could also face similar sanctions. The news will come as a positive to many fans who have raised concerns that a football-esque culture is beginning to creep its way into the game.
World Rugby have also made a concerted effort to clamp down on doping in rugby given that more than a third of suspended athletes in the UK are rugby players. Although it is argued it is primarily younger players trying to get bigger who are found guilty, others have suggest the issue goes deeper.
Former France international Laurent Benezech has suggested doping is prevalent in the professional game, whilst European champions Toulon are currently under investigation for providing their players with medication similar to PEDs.