Former England International Jeremy Guscott Calls For Absolutely Ludicrous Law Change


Former England international Jeremy Guscott has called for an absolutely ludicrous law change in the wake of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup final triumph over England.

South Africa went for a 6-2 forward/backs split for most of the Rugby World Cup, including the final against England, allowing them to introduce their now famous “bomb squad” in the second-half, unloading a fresh front-row as well as the likes of RG Snyman, Franco Mostert and Bath’s Francois Louw off the bench.

Munster went for a similar approach against Ulster over the weekend, but Guscott wants to stop teams from doing this by limiting substitutions in rugby to just three.

Guscott says teams should have to “pay the price” for having players that cannot go the full 80 minutes in one of the most ridiculous statements we’ve ever read.

“The World Cup has left the game on a high and there should be a feelgood factor from the tournament in rugby nations around the globe,” Guscott wrote in the Rugby Paper

“My only reservation is that it would be an even better sport if the bench was reduced in number. Half a team coming on with fresh legs and sharp minds against guys, who have been taken to the point of exhaustion, is pushing the game out of the realms of normality.

“We have got to make sure that Rugby Union remains a game in which skill and fitness are paramount – even though the fitness element has been eroded.

“A player like Alun Wyn Jones can go for 80 minutes, and so can Mako Vunipola, but there are a hell of a lot that cannot. The only problem is they are not made to pay the price.

“The game is great in many ways, but we should not be afraid to make it better. You could still have six or eight on the bench, but only be able to use three of them.

“I believe this sport can get better still, and more attractive to play and to watch, by limiting the number of substitutions – and that should be the next big step we take.”

What a load of crap. Does he realise how much rugby has changed since he retired? Does he understand just how brutal it has become? The intensity of Test matches is incredible in the modern game.

This is not soccer. If a team needs to change their entire front-row after 60 minutes so be it. Rugby is very much a squad game and if a guy happens to empty the tank – the difference between the good and the great teams is the latter have a replacement ready and waiting that can slot in seamlessly.

Three substitutions? Is he for real? Sure let’s punish teams for having an excellent 23-man panel built on the back of years of work. Let’s make the game even more dangerous by putting coaches in a difficult position if a player goes down and they’re out of replacements. Pure and utter madness.

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