Rugby World Cup 2019 looms large and it looks like it’s going to be an exceptional six weeks of all out action in Japan.
Let’s hope so, but something which is of an increasing concern, is how World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper continues to push for more red cards.
The only way you can get player behaviour to change is to sanction with red cards. I would say in many ways we have probably not been hard enough – and not seen as many red cards as we would like. Brett Gosper
His call for more red cards is making the paying spectator see red.
Red cards ruin rugby contests, especially when they come early in the game.
We all know that World Rugby wants to stamp out reckless and dangerous play that can lead to serious injury.
The players know that – we all know this.
No one is in disagreement that dangerous play needs to be sanctioned severely.
But, why continue with the unnecessary sanction of the paying rugby spectator – the paying sponsors – and the broadcasters who want maximum viewership.
Supporters will pay hefty prices to follow their teams in Japan, and all they wish for is to see a fair contest – where 15 rugby players come up against 15 rugby players.
Brett Gosper is failing to see the bigger picture in that sport is a platform for:
ENTERTAINING, EDUCATING and ENRICHING lives.
You have to GET IT RIGHT ON ALL THREE FRONTS to bring more people into the game on a worldwide basis.
When too much emphasis is placed on ’EDUCATING’ – as with stamping out dangerous play with red cards, World Rugby is effectively shooting themselves in the foot.
People have plenty of options on what they choose to do, choose to watch and choose to support.
Nobody will give too much time to a non- contest in sport.
Nobody wants a hollow victory.
Hopefully, World Rugby will urgently take a leaf out of the ICC rule book, where the cricket authorities recently changed the rule book, to allow concussed players to be replaced, so as not to unduly disrupt the game in progress.
A rugby red is a rugby red.No squabble with that.
Is there a better way to sanction dangerous play? Yes there is.
The red carded player should leave the field immediately, and thereafter have to face a disciplinary committee.
The game however should not be unduly disrupted – with a penalty awarded, and the offending player being allowed to be replaced off the bench – after a 10 minute suspension period.
Then it’s back to a fair 15 versus 15 contest.
It’s game on.
It’s the player who should be heavily sanctioned – not the paying spectators – not the sponsors – not the broadcasters.
The educational message can be re- enforced afterwards by the severity of the banning period agreed by a disciplinary committee, not the referee whose job it is to let the game flow.
My suggestion would be an automatic ‘ FIVE MATCH RED CARD BANNING PERIOD’ – with the offender given the chance to present his case for a shorter banning period.
When one hits the players pockets harder , the players will steer well clear of attempting any dangerous play.
Come on World Rugby.
It’s not too late to change.
If not, I see a wonderful spectacle in Japan, being ruined by an enforced red card call at some point in the tournament.
World rugby deserves better.
What do you think?
Your feedback is always appreciated.
Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Key-note Speaker, Author, Performance Coach to Teams and Life Coach to Individuals.
His game- changing THE GAME PLAN METHOD, is helping both teams and individuals throughout South Africa to achieve their greatest potential.
GET IN TOUCH:
LAUNCHING EARLY SEPTEMBER. SPRING TIME !!!
THE GAME CHANGERS – how to power up your game from Good to Great to Greater: Robert. A. Opie
If you would like a complimentary eCopy sent to your inbox, just send me a request at
Or book an inspirational and interactive talk to take your team to that next level of Performance , Growth and Contribution.
Taylor-made packages to fit your needs, your wants and your budget.
You can find out more at:
GET IN TOUCH: