“It is not morally correct” – Former Scotland coach goes hard on Springbok bench split

Not happy.

Former Scotland coach Matt Williams has once again made it very clear that he does not agree with South Africa’s 7-1 bench split which will be used once again this week against Ireland.

Traditionally, teams would have a 5-3 bench split of forwards and backs, before South African sides started introducing a 6-2 split, before the Boks revealed their 7-1 split to the world for the first time in their warm-up game against the All Blacks.

Williams criticised South Africa after that win over New Zealand and he’s standing firm on his opinion ahead of the Ireland game.

Speaking to Virgin Media, Williams said that while the 7-1 split may be a clever move from the Springboks, he’s worried about the potential repercussions it will have on lower levels of the sport moving forward.

“Why am I saying I am totally against this South Africa bench?” Willams said.

“Is it legal? Yes. Is it smart rugby for the World Cup? I’ve got to say yes. Is it good tactics? Yes. But it is not morally correct.

“What I’m saying is that if lower levels of the game copy the Springboks, and they will, there are props playing second-rowers in lower levels of the game. If they are fatigued and the opposition bring on seven fresh forwards and they go for a scrum later on in the game knowing they could get a penalty and win the game, those guys’ spines are in danger.

“I will not be quiet, because I’ve seen it. All of us that have seen it firsthand have a responsibility to remind the next generation to not go back there.

“I have great admiration for the Springboks, I admire them as a rugby nation, they’re one of the greatest in the world alongside New Zealand. This is not right for the game.

“It might be right for a test match, it might be right for them to beat Ireland. I’m not worried about the health of the Irish players. I’m deeply, deeply concerned that at the lower levels of the game this will be copied.

“It won’t be on the front page, some player will become a quadriplegic. It won’t be on the front page, it won’t be on the newspapers. It will just be his club, community, family, and him or her that has to deal with it for the rest of their lives.

“That’s why I oppose it and I always will.”

Passionate words from Williams. Do you agree with him?

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