Has rugby union become too complicated a game for its own good? | Robert Kitson

The top end of the sport is thriving but youth and amateur rugby union seem to be almost constipated by the rules and just how closely they must be adhered to

A tough subject this one but here is a biggish question: what kind of sport does rugby union aspire to be? In 20 years time, when little Jonny and Jenny graduate from mini-rugby, what type of game will they want to play as young adults? What sort of product do coaches, parents and schoolteachers want to support and promote? Are the laws, as they stand, suitable for both professionals and amateurs alike, or as forward-thinking as they might be?

All this sprang to mind over the weekend while watching the worst game of rugby union imaginable. To protect the innocent let’s just say it was a Ruckshire Under-15 Cup tie between Team X and Team Y, refereed by an individual who had apparently just swallowed the law book whole. Or, by the look of his straining, taut jersey, a whole box of law books.

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