Archive for IRB

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

IRB Rule Change Aholics.

Source: All Blacks get rules head start


…”A secret meeting has handed the All Blacks and their southern hemisphere neighbours a big on-field advantage before the Rugby World Cup is staged in New Zealand next year.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen and coaches from rugby’s nine other top-tier nations met behind closed doors in Dublin last week.

Their aim was to decide what the game’s politicians couldn’t – what rules will be used in international rugby for the next 18 months.

And the good news, from a Kiwi perspective, is that the current “interpretations” being used in this year’s Super 14 have now been set in stone.

IRB chief executive Mike Miller confirmed the news when approached by the Sunday Star-Times.

Miller said: “The rugby world is on the same page again. There is no north-south split as some suggested there would be. This is great news for the game.”…

COMMENTS: Ok first up I am not unhappy on this matter. However it must be said that the IRB wear nothing but flipflops.

I remind you when the ELV experiment was in full swing it was decided that the laws can not be changed 2 years out from the RWC. To give all nations plenty of time to adjust and become solid with the new or adjusted laws of the game.

However a rule/law change in my book is either a law change or a change in the manner of the interpretation of a rugby law. The result is the same.

The southern hemisphere teams now have one thing that the northern teams dont have. Six months more conditioning to a much faster paced game. And that folks matter, dont believe me, just wait for the northern versus southern hemisphere clashes this winter, the English and Welsh boys will be knackered 30 minutes in…and that could mean 30 points.

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

International Player Series (IRB reads my blog !)

Source: IRB planning rugby World Series – David Long

The IRB are desperate to add some meaning to the rugby calendar outside the World Cup and have devised the idea of a biennial World Series which would involve the world’s top 10 nations – New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, England, Wales, France, Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

According to UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, the World Series would begin as a round-robin competition, the sides playing each other once, with all Six Nations games and some Tri-Nations results counting towards the World Series

Argentina would play Sanzar nations when they’re not involved in Tri-Nations tests. For example, Argentina would play the All Blacks the same week the Wallabies play the Springboks. Tests between the northern and southern hemisphere nations would take place in the June and November test windows.

At the end of the two-year period the top-placed nations would play each other in a one-off game to claim the title of World Series champions. Wembley Stadium is being eyed as the venue for this game because its 90,000 seats make it the most financially attractive.

My comments: I posted a similar idea on my blog months ago here : International Playing Window with Revenue Sharing [April 2008]. Thank god the IRB reads my blog. I hope it works out.

Possible ideas.

  • 1) The playoffs should be 4 teams playing a semi and grand final, just like the current super 14 playoffs. Complete this over two weeks.
  • 2) Have two divisions. Division 1 – The top 10 teams mentioned. Division 2 – The teams numbered from 11 to 20 ( Samoa, Tonga, Japan, USA, Canada, Georgia, etc).
  • 3) Play the division 2 playoffs as pre match for divison 1 playoffs. So the grand final is two games 1.00pm division 2, 2.30pm division 1. Now wouldnt that pull the world wide audience ratings .
  • 4) Division 1 prize money 75%, Division 2 prize money 25% of all total price money available. As I said in (1) with 4 teams in each division making the playoffs, I suggest all teams get some level of prize money for making the playoffs. You cant have teams going to the playoffs and lose money due to travel and living costs. The tournment is about generating cash for teams, so no playoff team should lose financially just for being there !
  • 5) Should the ranking be based on how the teams finished in the most recent rugby world cup. Could you imagine Wales or Ireland in division 2. I guess it will be based on commercial clout, rather than recent performance.

NOW thats a good idea !


Thursday, June 12th, 2008

TMO – More TV Replays to help critical Ref Decisions!


Source: Henry backs greater use of technology in officiating

All Black coach Graham Henry is backing an increase in the use of technology, including a greater use of TV replays, in deciding on contentious refereeing calls.

The IRB has overnight granted South African officials their approval to increase the powers of the TV match official in their Currie Cup competition.

At present the TMO is only allowed to rule on the grounding of the ball.

But the IRB’s decision will now let the TMO rule on forward passes, knock-ons and other transgressions before the ball has gotten over the opposition try-line.

“I think it is a major problem with the game at the moment. And we just need to try and get those things right.”

The increased powers to be used in the Currie Cup mirror those that are used in the NRL league competition.

My Comments: About time, you cant have millions of people around the world witness a shocking call by the Ref when it could so easily be resolved by a few minutes looking at the TV replay. All Blacks vs France RWC 2007 forward pass was a shocker and a bad mark against the world wide rugby union reputation. I do agree that the TMO can’t resolve all issues and nor should it, just the 5 pointers is good enough !

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

ELVs – The Jones View.


Source: Law variations threaten to cause chaos – S Jones

Despite fierce opposition, the IRB hopes this week to sneak changes through the back door that could have dire consequences for the game

THE WEEK ahead could prove one of the darkest in the history of the International Rugby Board, the ruling body of the game, and could harm rugby for generations. On Thursday, the IRB council meet to vote on an extraordinary proposal originating from their laws project group, a body many see as unrepresentative of the modern game, that a series of experimental laws, effectively including a bewildering 32 new or revised measures, be imposed on all rugby from August 1.

The measures have run into ferocious opposition in Europe. The English, Welsh and Irish unions confirmed on Friday that they remain implacably against blanket imposition of the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs), therefore joining all 12 of the Guinness Premiership coaches and all of the Top 14 French clubs.

Owen Doyle, the Irish spokesman on the ELV issue, effectively spoke for all the opposition: “The radical ELVs change the key characteristics and identity of rugby union and we are very concerned about them for that reason.” The laws would be imposed initially for a one-year period, but as one opponent said: “Once they are in, how do we claw the game back? The experiments become the status quo.”

In my experience, the reaction of the big European unions and their technical debate has been markedly more constructive than that of the IRB hawks. I have found not one IRB supporter of the ELVs who will admit that even one of the new measures is shaky or dangerous, that they will inevitably change the charter of the game by stealth and artificiality, or that to rush through untried laws could threaten the sport’s growing commercial power and cause chaos to the community game.

On this last front, the RFU launched a website ( on which anyone can express their views. Some IRB grandees blithely dismiss any hint of a problem, but this abysmal failure to grasp the scale of confusion that faces the sport is possibly the most disturbing aspect of all. The idea that, during the holiday season, a torrent of new measures will cascade down to junior clubs and schools and players at all levels in 120 nations with the required clarity is ridiculous.

There is, apparently, some good news. The three main opposing unions (England, Wales and Ireland) hold two votes each and I understand that Italy also have major reservations. Each major union holds two votes and, as any radical motion needs a 75% majority, it should be possible for the unions opposing the ELVs to stop their imposition.

However, it may not be so simple. With the looming possibility that the IRB will fail to get the necessary majority, we have had reports of serious pressure and horse trading, aimed at the smaller rugby countries.

IRB tacticians have spotted two possible ways to get the trial through by the back door. They could ask the council to propose that the ELVs are merely imposed on the professional game, hoping to attract support from countries whose chief gripe is the community chaos and therefore betraying one of the game’s oldest tenets – one set of laws for everyone. Or they could force a debate on each individual ELV, voting as to whether each could have a trial.

I have seen a document giving the reaction of all six of the major European unions to each ELV. Even with the tame acceptance of France and Scotland to every measure, there is barely one radical ELV which gets a majority in favour. However, with different nations objecting to different experiments, it may just be possible that most of the laws are pushed through one by one. The opposing unions are alive to this. “We have told our delegates not to vote for anything until they see what the whole picture is,” one chief executive told me.

Of course, none of this is even to begin a discussion of how appalling has been the fate of other laws down the years forced onto the game. Nor has the IRB managed to persuade supporters, given the scale of support for the measures in the southern hemisphere, that this is not another attempt to speed up artificially the pace of the game.

The IRB insist that scrummaging will still be a staple when it is obvious that, with the tap-and-go style seen in the southern hemisphere under the ELVs of late, coaches will rapidly opt for smaller and faster players.

Yesterday, members of the laws project group denied to journalists that there was panic over their bid to get the laws ratified. Yet all they achieved in their presentation was to create an even thicker fog around the whole issue. A well-meaning trawl through the key ELVs produced not one that stands up to their claim that the laws are working excitingly well.

After three years of effort, it seemed a poor return. It also seemed to me that those who have allowed the project to become their lives are afraid to admit that it is too big and that it does not work. As I said last week, they must be stopped.

My Comments: Just another opinion, must review all rugby thought out there, be fair !

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

IRB – Have got this correct, and about time!

Source: IRB orders refs to be stricter

LONDON – The International Rugby Board ordered referees to be stricter on illegal behaviour at tackles and rucks today.

The IRB said match officials should be aware that players are increasingly falling on top of the ball to prevent opponents from carrying on with play and this should be penalised more often.

It also said referees should give equal treatment to both the attacking and defending teams in rucks, saying players on the ball-carrying team are often allowed to pick up the ball to form a maul. The defenders, meanwhile, are being told they can’t handle the ball, the IRB said.

Referees were also urged to remind scrum halves they must feed the ball straight through the centre of the tunnel at scrums, as the IRB said players are continually ignoring the rule.

My Comments: Or they could allow rucking back into the game, and about time the half back placed the ball in the middle of tunnel, finally !

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

International Playing Window with Revenue Sharing

The IRB should:

1)      Put aside two months in the calendar year and call it the ‘The Rugby International Playing Series’. The series would include international games no matter of the playing rank of the teams. (eg England vs All Blacks, Kenya vs Sri Lanka, etc). Does not include regular yearly competitions. (ie Tri Nations and Six Nations).

2)      Sell this playing series to all the broadcasters around the world. Just like the RWC. It has been proved via the RWC that some of the lesser ranked games punched above there weight in TV ratings and rugby excitement. Remember Georgia vs Ireland RWC 2008.

3)      A vehicle like this would also attract international sponsorship, but I concede not to the same extent as the RWC. However, it could be the ‘Coca Cola Rugby International Playing Series 20XX’.

4)      Gate fees should be split 75% to home union, 25% to visitor to union.

5)      Total world wide broadcasting revenue from the playing series should be split on a similar formula used for RWC revenues.

6)      Internationals outside this window are private affairs between unions.

7)      My guess is that Oct/Nov as the best suited months.

As the playing series will included more internationals I would think the world wide revenue would greater than individually negotiated tours. For example All Blacks vs Japan may provide a larger contribution to total series revenues than All Blacks vs England. Even the revenue rich England could expect bumper profits, plus smaller unions secure funding outside the RWC cup year.

Capitalism does not work in sport, as the rich get richer. A more socialist approach will produce a very secure funding foundation for world rugby development.

 The financial model the international window must look at is the American Football model (gridion) where the TV revenues are split evenly between all teams (The 52 states within the USA are basically 52 countries). The international playing window should be used to balance out the wealth, in a professional sport this is the only way to foster a very sparse field of competitive international rugby teams. Currently and for possible the next 25 years the RWC trophy is only really likely to be won by 5 teams (France, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand). But as the administrators of these countries are the power of the IRB, well I guess nothing will happen !