Rugby World Cup 2015 is going to clamp down strongly on diving and feigning injury.
Tough talk from John Jeffrey, Chairman of World Rugby as the sports body announced it was going to be clamping down on ‘Football culture’ at the tournament.
“There is a culture creeping in. I call it the football culture, of simulation, people appealing to the referee, players – and it has happened a couple of times – diving. That is going to be sanctioned very heavily in this tournament.”
Music to the ears of Rugby fans ahead of Rugby’s showcase event. Their taking this awfully seriously, seemingly going for a prevention is better than cure approach to the issue. It’s hardly a huge issue in Rugby, yet. But better to nip these things in the bud now, than let them escalate. RWC 2015 will see a match-fixing and integrity unit introduced for the time. While that sounds like a Rugby version of ‘The A-Team’ its premise is a little less exciting and much more practical.
Now, incidents like Bryan Habana’s over exaggerated tumble against Owen Farrell last year are going to be treated a lot more seriously. Referees will be availing of the TMO to question potential dives. If there is suspicion of a dive or a player feigning injury that is confirmed by video technology, expect to see yellow cards and the sin-bin.
The result of all this? Well it’s very likely we won’t see a single dive in the tournament. Players are now very aware it won’t be tolerated. Who wants to be castigated giving how much attention this is getting. Who wants to be that guy who got banned for a dive at the Rugby World Cup? And no team can afford to lose players to bans over the tournament. What a time to be alive, folks.