Super 14 Rugby

ELV’s favour New Zealand : Jones


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The Experimental Law Variations (ELV’s) on trial in the Super 14 are set up for New Zealand according to former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones.

Jones says that the ELV’s will benefit New Zealand more than anyone else.

“They set it up for New Zealand to become even stronger in the game,” he says in the NZ Herald.

“They have dominated rugby for the last seven years despite not winning the big tournament, the World Cup.

“But under the new laws they will be even tougher to beat.”

Jones says that this is because New Zealanders have the best combination of individual power, speed, athleticism and ball carrying ability of any country playing the game.

“It makes them a very dangerous side.

“There is no doubt in my mind that these laws will therefore help New Zealand the most. Look how naturally the players of teams like the Crusaders and Blues have adapted to them.

“It looks like they have been playing under them all their lives. The South African and Australian players don’t give that impression.

“In most of the New Zealand teams, about 12 of the 15 players are good ball carriers and, under these rules, that sets it up for them to dominate.”

Jones will take over as director of rugby at London club Saracens at the end of the season and he is aware that the ELV’s could be trialled in the NH after September.


He says that he likes certain aspects of the laws. “Not being able to kick out on the full if you pass back into your 22 is eminently sensible.

“There is still a question mark over the breakdown because sides are deliberately giving away free kicks.

“Therefore, I believe you still need the facility of conceding three points through a full penalty for such offences.

“The other thing is that if teams are very good defensively, as they are these days, it will be very hard to score against them.

“The higher level you get in the game the harder it is to score because most teams have 11 to 12 very good defenders. At test level, you can make that 15.”

Jones also likes the extra five metres for backs at scrum time but says it again comes down to tough refereeing sanctions against players not binding properly. “If they are not binding correctly, that negates so much of the intention behind the law.”

He accepts the breakdown will always be something of a mess as long as it remains a contest for the ball.


“If you want just a fast game, remove the contest element from the breakdown. But personally I wouldn’t do that. We still need a contest there in my view.”


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