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Rob Andrew - the game is getting worse not better

Bada-Bing!

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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/22/rob-andrew-rugby-rfu-england-interview

He's got a point about the game was being meant to be a 15 man game (amateur), and the morphing into a 23 man game we see today has contributed to the injuries we are seeing in the game now.

Is the solution fewer subs? Front row replacements are a must for safety, but do we really need the four others? Maybe reduce this to one to cover second and back row and only one back cover.
 
The major issue is the number of games, not the replacements, IMO.
 
Completely agree re. too many games.

He has a point when describing the union-club relationship as an 'uneasy truce'. This is certainly the case here. The only reason the clubs have signed the agreement with the union in this country is to get FFR OFF THEIR BACK. Not because they want to work with them.

I think England have found the better balance btw club and country. It shows with England's results under EJ. However this has gone completely out of the window here.
 
What if every player had a maximum number of minutes they could play per quarter or something, encouraging clubs to have to rotate more, use larger squads etc. Combined with the salary cap maybe it would bring more gametime for younger players. The biggest issue I can think of is that the less well resourced clubs with only one 'premiership standard 15' would lose out to the likes of saracens...meh

But yep, for me also its about number of games and amount of rugby. Replacements are fundamentally a good thing.
 
Totally agree with the preference for a team game over a squad one. You only have to look at Leicester yesterday for yet another example of the distortion bought by mass subs. OK, the game was won and there were a couple of injuries, but they went from sublime to totally disjointed.

I don't see why games have to be played flat out at 100mph the whole time. Wearing down your opponents over time to get the decisive advantage should be half the fun, especially for a front rower.

Don't agree with Andrew on much, but he's right on this one.
 
Fewer games for sure, but I think keeping as many of the original 15 on the pitch would help open up he game in the final quarter. By then the less fit team tires and more gaps in the game for tries to be scored. Right now we have half the team replaced by the 60 minutes mark and no significant drop in intensity. I think that's the point he was making. Granted the game has changed a great deal since Andrew's day when scrums were a lot more prevalent compared to the breakdown fest we have today.
 
Fewer games for sure, but I think keeping as many of the original 15 on the pitch would help open up he game in the final quarter. By then the less fit team tires and more gaps in the game for tries to be scored. Right now we have half the team replaced by the 60 minutes mark and no significant drop in intensity. I think that's the point he was making. Granted the game has changed a great deal since Andrew's day when scrums were a lot more prevalent compared to the breakdown fest we have today.

I get that, but it's only an issue because of the cumulative toll it takes on the players who are called upon to play the majority of the game who are not replaced and then have to front up against fresh replacements. There's no inherent problem with intensity staying high for 80, it's good for replacements but bad if you're playing 80 and then expected to be starting the next game too. In short it's still an issue of the amount of rugby that core players are being called upon to play, measured either in number of games those players are starting or the overall number of minutes.
 
I know that it's football, but Billy Bremner once commented that (when asked about playing nearly 60 games a season when Leeds United were the best team in the country) 'you don't even think about it - you just enjoy the game if you're on a good run of form'.

That was back in the days of the old leather footballs and when tackles were more X-Rated than today!

I get that both football and rugby are now businesses and players are investments today instead of..well...players. However, the price you pay (literally) is that the game suffers for the reasons mentioned above.

Look at football in England since 1992 - it's awash with cash, yes, but has the game improved that much domestically? Only one World Cup in the past 60 years although, currently, England's youth are doing very well internationally (U17s and U19s are World Champions?) but how many of these players will go on to play in the first teams for their clubs?

Take money out, bring the sport back and we might get somewhere.
 

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