England & Lions star calls for match officials to let players ‘scrap’ in games


England and Lions forward Courtney Lawes has called for the rugby hierarchy to stop sanitising the game so much and let players go at it on the field.

Rugby has clamped down a huge amount in recent years to make the game safer, but this has led to match officials putting every incident under the microscope at times, and Lawes doesn’t think it helps the sport.

He’s not looking for officials to let players ‘punch and batter’ each other, but he does feel that if it’s nothing more than ‘handbags’ – officials should let it slide, given that it is a contact sport at the end of the day.

Lawes reckons there’s an appetite from fans to see that side of the game more often and it’s some that’s going to get the crowd ‘on their feet’ during games.

“I think a lot of the things fans like to see we are now trying to get rid of. Handbags for example, and having scraps on the pitch,” Lawes said on The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast.

“We don’t want to be throwing punches and battering each other, but there’s not a fan in the world that doesn’t like a team getting in the mixer and having a scrap.

“The fans get into it. We had it against Munster last season. I wasn’t playing, so I was in the crowd, and we had a big scrap, and you should have seen everyone getting on their feet.

“For the next 10 minutes, people are flying into each other. That’s the kind of stuff people love.”

What do you think? Do you agree with Courtney Lawes?

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