Former Wales international Mark Ring has slammed World Rugby, demanding change to the current state of the modern game.
The Springboks followed their 2019 Rugby Championship and World Cup triumphs by recently claiming a thrilling 2-1 series win over the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town.
However, plenty of media coverage out of the UK and New Zealand has been less than complimentary about how the Springboks have gone about winning their titles, criticising the team’s kick-oriented, forwards-based approach.
Lamenting what he deems the ultra-conservative state of the modern game in general, not just that of the Springboks, Ring said there’s growing concern that the next generation will turn away from rugby.
“I think there’s a huge concern about the next generation and whether they’ll want to play rugby,” he said.
“Reading all the stuff about head injuries in the game and dementia, their parents are going to have a huge influence.
“Do youngsters really want to play a game that’s becoming so dangerous and so physical – but also so boring and predictable? There’s a concern for the entire game of rugby union.
“Unless we have a change of approach, the game will be dying on its feet because of World Rugby, Billy Beaumont’s outfit. They seem to be rudderless and clueless. I know Joe Schmidt is on there, but I don’t know who else of any sort of worth is in that group and involved in the way the game is shaping.
“We watch the Lions against South Africa and everyone is moaning about the basic style of play, and then we watch New Zealand and it’s a different level. If they do things differently, why can’t people figure out what they are doing differently?
“I wouldn’t have had Gatland anywhere near it in the first place,” said Ring.
“I respect him for what he’s achieved, but I’ve never seen anything … put it this way, as a coach I picked up lovely snippets of coaching ploys and plays from coaches leading the way – how they see the game and all the rest of it. There’s just a huge gulf in rugby knowledge from him and people who are leading the way to the rest.
“Telling someone to count defenders would strike a chord with me but ‘scan’ is another typical coaching buzzword for bullsh*t coach. It’s a bullsh*t word, a coaching word – scan, scan, scan.”
“It’s critical for the future of the game that we make rugby more enjoyable for people to watch. The more people in positions of influence who realise that, the better.”
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