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World Rugby chairman responds to letter on cutting subs

REACTION: World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has responded to a group of British and Irish Lions legends who want radical changes regarding the use of replacements/substitutions.


The former stars want replacements only for injuries to make the sport safer and help prevent the prospect of a player dying on the field.

In an open letter to the World Rugby chairman – signed by Ian McGeechan, Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, Barry John and John Taylor as well as consultant surgeon Professor John Fairclough – it is claimed the professional game “has become unnecessarily dangerous”.

The letter references fears of current players not daring to speak out over “fear of losing their livelihood” and quotes the concerns of former Wales captain Sam Warburton that someone “will die during a game in front of TV cameras” if nothing is done.

READ: B&I Lions legends call for World Rugby to revamp subs law

In response, Beaumont has called for more evidence before any changes are considered.

“We welcome all opinions that progress the player welfare debate,” Beaumont said on Twitter.

“We are well underway with a wide-ranging study into the impact of subs in elite rugby.


“It’s a complex area. Several variables being examined across 2,000 matches. Important we act with evidence & avoid any unintended consequences of any amendments.

“The research to date is not conclusive. Important also to note that elite rugby is very different to the community game. I’ll always ensure that we put players at the heart of our decision-making.”

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