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Former All Blacks Coach Derided For Suggesting Crazy Rugby Rule Change

Former All Blacks Coach Derided For Suggesting Crazy Rugby Rule Change
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Part of what makes rugby such an exciting game is the various ways in which teams can attempt to score.

It is not all about tossing the ball around and hoping to get an overlap on the wings. Set-pieces play a huge part, be it from scrums or line-outs. Each teams has a different approach to the game, something that always adds a bit of extra intrigue.

However, some believe major changes should be made to fundamental aspects of the sport.

Speaking to Stuff.co.nz, former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith said that he would like to see driving mauls removed from the game.

I don’t like the driving maul as part of the game.

There are six or seven forwards in front of the ball. There is no access to the ball. It is legalised obstruction. I would get rid of it entirely.

You could do it very easily by changing the laws so that if the attacking team chooses to kick a penalty to touch inside the 22, then the other team gets the throw-in.

This seems like a crazy suggestion. Driving mauls are a huge part of the game and certainly add to the excitement for spectators. There is nothing quite like the roar of a crowd as the home team attempts to drive the ball over the whitewash after a well-executed line-out.

As you might imagine, this suggestions has gone down like a lead balloon.

Wayne Smith hammered for bizarre rule change suggestion

Wayne Smith has a huge amount of experience in top level rugby. Having lined out for Canterbury and New Zealand in his playing days, he has gone on to craft a lengthy coaching career.


He coached the All Blacks at the turn of the century, also having three stints as an assistant coach with the side. Most recently, he led the New Zealand women's team to World Cup glory last year.

For someone with so much knowledge of the game, this seems like a crazy suggestion.

Former England hooker Richard Cockerill felt that is was no coincidence that this suggestion came at a time when New Zealand was struggling in this particular area of the game.


The game is the game, isn’t it? We can all play the same way, or we can all play slightly differently.

Generally, the teams that moan about the maul are the teams that aren’t very good at it.

English rugby is built on set-piece – the good club teams have a good set-piece. National teams have good set pieces, whoever they are.

If we have an advantage in the maul, we should take advantage of it. It would be stupid not to.


He wasn't the only one to laugh off the change.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler was among those that took to social media to share their opinion on the matter.



As pointed out above, Smith had no trouble utilising this method of scoring when it suited him.

While some people would clearly like to see it removed from the sport, there is very little chance that the driving maul is going anywhere anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: Dean Richards Says Bloodgate Is "Biggest Regret Of Coaching Career"

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