Lancaster calls for rules shake-up to increase appeal
ESPN Staff
January 21, 2014
England head coach Stuart Lancaster looks on during the England Captain's Run ahead of the Test against Australia, Twickenham Stadium, November 1, 2013, London, England
Stuart Lancaster - 'Supporters are the lifeblood of the game' © Getty Images
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In Focus: Rugby rules

Stuart Lancaster has urged rugby's authorities to make the sport more attractive to spectators between now and next year's World Cup.

Speaking ahead of the start of the Six Nations, Lancaster said the game needs to work on its appeal. "I want to encourage everyone involved in the making of the laws and the structure of the game to try to make it as good a spectator sport as humanly possible," he told the Guardian.

"Supporters are the lifeblood of the game and the people playing it, including kids, also have to enjoy it. You want something to get behind and sometimes the complexity of rugby's rules or its stop-start nature can take that away.

"I've got empathy with those suggesting we stop the clock when there are collapsed scrums - or phases of play when there is not a lot happening - so spectators get more value for money."

He would also not be against the introduction of bonus points in the Six Nations. "History would say it's been a pretty effective tournament without them and it's not really a decision for me as a national coach but I'd be reasonably open-minded about things like that."

He told the newspaper that it was vital England built on the impact the 2015 Rugby World Cup was likely to make. "One of the biggest motivations for England being successful is the impact on grassroots rugby. It's about giving the country a team people can really support, which will go way beyond 2015."

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