Lancaster calls for rules shake-up to increase appeal
January 21, 2014
Stuart Lancaster - 'Supporters are the lifeblood of the game' © Getty Images
Stuart Lancaster has urged rugby's authorities to make the sport more attractive to spectators between now and next year's World Cup.
Speaking ahead of the start of the Six Nations, Lancaster said the game needs to work on its appeal. "I want to encourage everyone involved in the making of the laws and the structure of the game to try to make it as good a spectator sport as humanly possible," he told the Guardian.
"Supporters are the lifeblood of the game and the people playing it, including kids, also have to enjoy it. You want something to get behind and sometimes the complexity of rugby's rules or its stop-start nature can take that away.
"I've got empathy with those suggesting we stop the clock when there are collapsed scrums - or phases of play when there is not a lot happening - so spectators get more value for money."
He would also not be against the introduction of bonus points in the Six Nations. "History would say it's been a pretty effective tournament without them and it's not really a decision for me as a national coach but I'd be reasonably open-minded about things like that."
He told the newspaper that it was vital England built on the impact the 2015 Rugby World Cup was likely to make. "One of the biggest motivations for England being successful is the impact on grassroots rugby. It's about giving the country a team people can really support, which will go way beyond 2015."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed that team-mate Petr Cech has advised him on how to protect himself in the Premier League after he suffered a head injury in the 2-0 win over Arsenal earlier this month
Jose Mourinho is "hurt" by the way some "selfish" national federations "simply do not care" to liaise with Chelsea over player fitness and says Diego Costa is out of Tuesday's Champions League match with Maribor with a hamstring injury
Britain's Laura Trott defended her omnium title in a nail-biting finish at the European Track Championships
Carlo Ancelotti is "100% certain" Cristiano Ronaldo will not be leaving Real Madrid for Manchester United next summer, admitting that his side rely on the forward
Edinburgh's Grant Gilchrist will captain Scotland in the November Test series