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World Rugby Diffuses Bok Bomb Squad

Earlier in March, World Rugby announced a number of law variations, trials and studies aimed 'at making the game safer'. Some of the measures to be examined make a fair bit of sense in the grand scheme of things, whilst others seem to be trying to appease Gatland and Co. in their quest to nullify the innovation the Boks have brought to the game, specifically with reference to the now famous 'Bomb Squad'.

This morning, on the 1st of April, World Rugby have taken it too far though with a rule change that is clearly and obviously aimed at the back-to-back World Champion Springboks. The new rules will be trialed during the July international window and sees Andy Farrell's Ireland side receive a significant boost in their chances of claiming only their second every victory on South African shores. Law 8(2) has been amended as follows:

8(1) Scoring

a) Try. Five points.

b) Conversion. Two points

c) Penalty try. Seven points.

d) Penalty goal. Three points

e) Dropped goal. Three points

8(2) Scoring exclusions (substitutes)

a) Any player substituted after the first 40 minutes of play, will not be permitted to score any points.

b) Any points scored via a kick, shall afford the defending team a 22m drop out.

c) Any points scored as a try shall afford the defending team a 5m scrum.

Bill Beaumont expressed his excitement around the law changes indicating they expect it to force teams into a re-think on the deployment of their substitutes. "This will inadvertently ensure players are fitter and likely reduce the number of fresh legs entering the fray late in the game when the other side is fatigued and prone to injury, World Rugby stands by its commitment to player safety."

What World Rugby has failed to realise though is that Rassie, being the great innovator that he is, has already found a way around the laws. Erasmus confirming that "we don't need our subs to score points, they just need to fuck them up physically, so that Polly can score the points."

With the way they constantly target the laws, this may be plausible in the future. For now though...

Happy April Fool's day.

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