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Tew rubbishes Southern alliance suggestions



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NZRU boss Steve Tew has rubbished suggestions that SANZAR had pushed hard for the global introduction of the experimental law variations so that it would take away the traditional strengths of the Six Nations teams.

The International Rugby Board announced on Wednesday that 10 of the ELVs would be recommended to be brought into official law.

The IRB’s council will vote on the matter next month and any changes to be brought in will be done from August the 1st.

the Six Nations sides have treated the ELVs with disdain although Scotland and to a lesser degree France did show some support.

Critics from England labeled them a “cheat’s charter” and there were claims that England, Ireland and Wales said that the Sanzar nations campaigned for the ELVs’ introduction as they wanted to negate traditional forward strength.

Tew however says that those claims were well off the mark.

“We made it really clear from the out-set, this is one of the things that has distorted the process, that the ELVs were never a Sanzar initiative,” he told Yahoo!Xtra from the UK.

“You have to go back to the conference on the game in Auckland after Rugby World Cup 2003, I think in January 2004, where we gathered together all the brains of coaching and playing in world rugby and said: ‘Righto, what is good about the law, what needs to be fixed?’

“And there were three or four key things that the IRB were asked to focus on.”

“They formed a laws advisory group which had a very significant group of people on it, including our own Graham Mourie. They came up with a raft of ideas that were then trial led at Stellenbosch.

“Then those trials were then analysed and refined and put to the IRB to find homes for trials.

“All that happened was that Australia and New Zealand, in particular, were willing to trial them in our competitions because we saw the need to grow some of the aspects of the game.

“For some reason, that all of a sudden became a southern hemisphere initiative which was unfortunately not the case.”

One of the ELVs that were rejected for global introduction following a two-day IRB summit is giving defending sides the power to drag down attacking mauls.

“The maul has never gone away; we never made the maul illegal,” Tew countered.

“We just made pulling down of the maul legal. So mauls had diminished in number quite considerably, although if you talk to the coaches that we had there from the south, their view was the fact the maul was coming back more into this year’s Super 14 as teams got a little better at ensuring that pulling down wasn’t so easy.

“The critical thing here is not that the north want the maul because it is their strength.

“We all to want to find ways to pour more and more players into a commitment so we have more space on the paddock. And if no-one is going to the maul, which is what has been happening, then we are obviously not creating space.”

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