Letters: Open to debate

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The Independent Online
Sir: As the the Five Nations' Championship moves into a new era, I would like to recommend some changes to the rules. For as long as I can remember, there has been concern over the paucity of open play and the predominance of kicking.

The last 10 or 15 years have seen the IRB tinker with the rules - changing the value of the try, the introduction of the indirect free kick, the acceptance of lifting in the line out, etc. However, it is still too easy for a team to win without scoring a try.

My proposed changes are:

l Replace the line-out with a throw-in into open play (it is almost impossible to lose your own throw-in, so this would get the ball into play much quicker).

l Tries should remain worth five points, but conversions will no longer be available.

l Direct free-kicks should be confined to serious infringements - dangerous tackles, raking, dropping of scrums, intentional offside,etc - and be worth five points. A yellow and/or red card should be shown to the offender.

All other infringements should be punished by indirect free-kicks, which would have to be run, rather than kicked. After all, rugby is all about running with the ball, rather than kicking.


Working in Nepal with the International Nepal Fellowship