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VIDEO: Jake - Scrum law changes not a 'conspiracy' against Boks

Uninformed and imprudent fans should cool off. World Rugby’s recent law changes are not some ‘conspiracy’ to depower the current double and four-time World Cup champions South Africa’s strengths.


Last week World Rugby announced ‘fan-focused’ law changes in three areas.

According to the governing body, this is to “increase the sport’s entertainment factor” to attract new audiences and grow the sport.

However, it caused a massive outrage, especially from South African audiences.

They will no longer be able to celebrate the famous Damian Willemse call, when the utility back called for a scrum from a mark – as he did in the World Cup semifinal against England in Paris.

Former Test referee Nigel Owens also voiced his concern that World Rugby risks “depowering” the scrum with their latest law changes.

“Rugby Union is a game for all shapes and sizes, so it’s important the scrum remains a weapon for teams who are good at it,” Owens wrote in his WalesOnline column.


“I feel they’re just depowering the scrum at the moment.

“You don’t see any more five-metre scrums because of the goal-line drop-out and then you could have this as well.

“The scrum could be a non-entity in the game and then you’d just be sitting down to watch Rugby League.”



However, Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White poured cold water on ‘conspiracy theories’.

“I know there will be conspiracy theorists about why this has happened,” White said.

“I want to explain that the laws of rugby are made for school children.,” White said.

“They are not made for professional players.”

He said people that read into that, that it’s to depower the Boks, are “naive”.

He used the banning of the ‘squeeze ball’ as an example.

(WATCH as Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White pours cold water on ‘conspiracy theories’ that suggest World Rugby’s recent law changes target the Springboks’ strengths….)

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“School children saw that and they copied it,” White said, adding: “They Lawrence Dallaglio and Malcolm Marx do it – men with strong necks.

“A little child attempts to do that and someone lands on him, then he can be paralysed. Then parents don’t want their children to play the game.

“Take it in that context. If you limit the number of scrums, more children will play the game.

“No one says the scrum should be ‘depowered’.

“Over time, the school game has gone from you could scrum and now you can scrum only a metre-and-a-half. It has changed.

“There is no conspiracy about that.

“The lawmakers and the referees have to work out how many free kicks they give at scrum time.

“There will be a lot more playing around [trickery],” the Bulls boss said, adding: “Coaches are like that – they will find a way [to milk it].

“Sometimes, to give a team a free-kick, is better to defend than to defend from a scrum.

“That is something referees will have to take into consideration.

“What I want to stress is that the laws are made to make more people play the game, to ensure it is safer and to make it clear that it is the game’s shape.

“It has nothing to do with some teams want to scrum and other teams don’t.”


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