Warren Gatland suggests law change to try and stop Springbok dominance

Bomb squad.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland wants World Rugby to explore some law changes that would have a huge effect on South Africa and their dominance in recent years.

The Springboks became back-to-back world champions with their victory in France last year and are the only side to have won the famous William Webb Ellis trophy on four occasions.

A key weapon for them has been their use of the bench, with Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber loading it up with forwards, deploying a 6-2 split in most games and even going as far as a 7-1 split on occasion.

Gatland wants World Rugby to take a look at reducing the number of replacements and also suggested that the ‘mark’ is something that could be removed from the game entirely.

“The game is producing incredibly powerful athletes and when you see teams like South Africa at the World Cup name a bench with seven forwards and just one back, it means that your forwards only have to play for 40 minutes. That was not what it was intended for,” Gatland wrote in his Telegraph column.

“Rugby used to be about attempting to tire out a forward pack so that the space opened up in the final 20 minutes and there were more opportunities to attack.

“We are not seeing that at the moment because of the number of replacements and the incredible athletes we are producing.

“I think the time has come to trial a reduction in the number of replacements or even a return to when they were only for injuries. This ruling may just apply to top-level or international rugby.”

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