Sports Letter: League lesson

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Sir: Jack Rowell (9 November) is exactly right. The answer to the problems of Rugby Union as a spectator sport - stultifying boredom, endless stoppages, baffling penalties and disgraceful personal assaults - has been around for many years. It is staring Union people in the face, but they decry and despise it.

It is called the play-the-ball. Do away with the ruck and the maul and institute offside laws that clear the ruck and give the side in possession a chance of making the gain line before the defence does. There is a good game struggling to free itself, and that game is Rugby League: the prison guards are those in the Union fold blindly prejudiced in favour of the so-called "competitive restart"; Union laws are straitjacketing the game.

JOHN HULLY

Royston, Herts

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