Northern doubts about ELVs

From the excellent

Northern doubts about ELVs

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 17:09

As northern hemisphere countries show concern about the experimental law variations Ed Morrison, the former Test referee, has issued a warning about their possible detrimental effect on grassroots rugby.

Morrison, who refereed the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final and has been involved in refereeing matters ever since, takes over as England’s head of elite referee development in June. He said:  “We mustn’t ignore what impact these changes might have on the community end of the game. 

“The vast majority of rugby is played by recreational players and we have to be very clear in our mind on what effect these law changes might have on their game.  They are incredibly important to our future.”

Representatives from the Six Nations met on Tuesday to discuss the Northern Hemisphere’s position on the IRB’s new ELVs.

According to Morrison, most of the Unions shared England’s cautious view.  “we’ve been going through a review process over last few months looking at each individual law and trying to work out what effect they would have on the game – not just at elite level.

“There’s been a whole host of experimenting being going on. But it’s only recently the IRB put forward a whole set of ELVs that they want to trial globally.

“We do support a number of the changes that the IRB are contemplating.  There are some other ones that we have concerns and reservations over.

“We’re not too concerned about the speed of the changes that we support.  What we are worrying about are the areas that we’re concerned will affect the game.”

The IRB Council will meet on 1 May to determine whether Northern Hemisphere Unions implement the ELVs.

“What we don’t know is what individual law experiments each Union will consider to be acceptable.  All we’re concerned about is that we don’t damage the potential that confronts the game.  This game has so many attractions on and off the field, we have to be 100% sure that we don’t diminish these prospects.”


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