Former Springbok coach Ian McIntosh says instead of disciplining Rassie Erasmus for his 62-minute video criticising referees, World Rugby should establish a committee to revise the game’s complicated lawbook.
World Rugby’s hearing against director of rugby Erasmus and SA Rugby is set to begin on Tuesday, after they were formally charged following his producing a video in which he criticised match officials during the series against the British & Irish Lions.
During the video, Erasmus highlighted a host of officiating discrepancies in the first Test of the series, which was handled by Australian Nic Berry.
England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Australia have reportedly applied pressure on World Rugby to make an example of Erasmus with a lengthy suspension from the game.
If he is found guilty, Erasmus’ punishments could range from a fine to even having the Springboks stripped of their series victory over the Lions.
However, in an interview with Independent Online, former Springbok head coach McIntosh, an internationally respected rugby mind, said World Rugby should instead be spending its time establishing a committee to streamline the lawbook, which has become far too complicated.
“It is not for me to say whether Rassie used the correct channels, but I do feel that something had to be done to gain the attention of the officials because the game has become far too complicated and a stop-start affair,” McIntosh told IOL Sport.
“It has been spoilt for players, coaches and the spectators. The game has become over-officiated because of too many ‘provisions’ being added each year to the laws.
“Instead of World Rugby disciplining Rassie, he should be commended and a committee established to revise the laws which are too many, contradictory and, in some cases, nonsensical.”
McIntosh served on World Rugby’s [back then the International Rugby Board] experimental laws committee, which made recommendations to simplify the laws. However, he said that few of those recommendations were actually implemented.
“Can someone respectfully inform World Rugby that the laws were intended to keep the game flowing, not stop it, and that the referee should become No 31 on the field again and not No 1,” McIntosh added.
“Just knowing the laws doesn’t make a referee. It’s about how they are applied that is the difference between a good and bad referee, like a good flyhalf who knows how to read the game and to use the ball accordingly.”