‘We NEED to make the game faster’: England head coach Eddie Jones calls on World Rugby to cut number of substitutes to six as part of radical plan to speed up the sport and stop it becoming like NFL
- Eddie Jones has urged World Rugby to stop rugby becoming American football
- A Test match normally lasts around 100 minutes with the ball in play for just 35
- England head coach said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21
Eddie Jones has urged World Rugby to stop the sport turning into American football by cutting the number of substitutes.
On the day Premiership clubs were given the green light to resume phase one training, the England coach called for a radical shake-up. Jones said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21 and he also asked rugby’s chiefs to sort out the hotly debated global calendar.
‘The game has gradually moved along a track and hasn’t been looked at carefully enough,’ Jones told Sky Sport NZ.
Eddie Jones wants to reduce the number of substitutes in a bid to speed up the game
‘Now we’ve got this game that’s almost like NFL. A Test match normally goes for 100 to 110 minutes. The ball is in play for 35 minutes, which hasn’t really changed in the last 25 years. The ball out of play has increased to 65 minutes.
‘Now we’ve got this great ball-out-of-play time and this small ball-in-play time. It’s exacerbated the fact, with eight reserves, that we’ve got such a power game now.
‘It’s gone too far down the power line and we need more continuity in the game. We need to make the game faster.
The England head coach said match-day squads should be trimmed from 23 to 21
‘I’d only have six reserves. That would make a hell of a difference. Three front rowers, one back rower to cover the back-five, one half-back and one back to cover the rest. I reckon that would introduce some fatigue in the game.
‘From a scrum reset — and I need to think this one through a bit — we could go for a differential penalty where you can’t kick for goal.
‘You’ve got to take a quick tap or kick for the line. We’ve got to get more movement in the game.’
Rugby could face major reforms when it returns. As revealed by Sportsmail, Premiership clubs unanimously voted for a salary cap overhaul on Wednesday, following 52 recommendations by Lord Myners in the aftermath of champions Saracens’ relegation for repeated breaches.
English clubs were also given clearance to return to individual training, with strict criteria including social distancing and daily health checks. No return-to-play date has been set, although discussions have been held about postponing the start of the 2020-21 season until next year, with a view to aligning competitions in the northern and southern hemispheres.
A Test match normally goes on for around 100 minutes with the ball in play for just 35 minutes
Jones backed calls for a global calendar, saying: ‘The opportunity now is for World Rugby to come up with a global schedule and that’s the exciting part. The game does need a restructure. It’s all over the shop.
‘The opportunity to get a global schedule where the international windows match up would be fantastic.’
Meanwhile, Gloucester announced the departure of director of rugby David Humphreys on Wednesday, just weeks after the exit of head coach Johan Ackermann.
Eddie Jones (above) has urged World Rugby to stop the sport turning into American football
The search is on for a new head coach and they have a shortlist of five. They will interview candidates in the coming week with a view to appointing a new man by the end of the month.
Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley could be involved, with his ban for betting on rugby matches running out later this month.
A series of trial laws were announced for the New Zealand-based Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, including innovative red-card replacements. Should a player be sent off, their team will lose a man for 20 minutes before a replacement can be brought on.
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