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Thursday, February 02, 2006


Super 14: Fox gives thumbs down for Waratahs' innovation

The Waratahs' plan to wear initials rather than numbers on their backs have met with stiff opposition from the game's broadcaster, who lodged an official complaint with SANZAR claiming that the move would present a "serious impediment" to its coverage.

A spokesman for SANZAR yesterday confirmed the move was within the regulations of the game, but did not agree to the new jerseys after an official complaint from Fox Sports.

"We weren't consulted in any way shape or form, which itself is upsetting, and we've launched an official complaint to SANZAR via the ARU," said Fox Sports' executive producer of rugby, Matt McKeown. "We can understand what they're trying to do, and we're not trying to say no to any innovation, but this one would just be a nightmare."

McKeown believes the concept would be confusing for fans and commentators and untenable for statisticians and officials. Fox Sports wants the concept limited to Saturday's final trial fixture against the Crusaders, or an alternative plan such as players selecting their own numbers, as Australia's one-day cricketers do.

SANZAR's spokesman said it would hold an investigation into the NSW plan. "We are examining the consequences, however the issues here really relate to other stakeholders and what the implications of it are," the spokesman said. "We believe there needs to be full consultation with broadcasters and other parties before any determination is made as to whether this should be a season-long practice."

Possible loophole in rules

But NSW were determined yesterday to forge ahead and it appears they could be forced to revert to numbers only by a rushed change to existing regulations.

IRB rules relating to player identification on the field are sketchy at best and allows for names or numbers, although the NSW plan could be contested on the grounds that the players' initials do not constitute a name.

NSW coach Ewen McKenzie would be disappointed if the change were reversed. "In the end it's about how we want to play, it's about a mentality thing and getting away from being typecast by the positional number," he said. "If I put numbers on their back then players are inhibited by the history of that position and what that position means."

Source: Rugby Heaven
It's just a CRAP idea all round.

For many reasons.

Dump it.
Hell, are these guys so intimidated by the traditional numbers on their backs?
This is a stupid and outragious idea.
Best way forward is to SCRAP IT.
Ag guys,

Give them their moment of fame.

It will only last until three weeks into the S14. Then they will be bottom feeders again. Even below the Cats.
So the Aussie comentators admit they are fu*king stupid. Brilliant.
If it means they stumble a bit before proclaiming one of their own the new king of planet earth after he caught AND passed the ball then i am all for it. Make the initials Greek, that would make it interesting.
This whole thing does not make sense to me. They say they want to play an roving game so players are not going to play in the positions identified by their numbers. Big deal, play whatever style you want. Then when the first set scrum is called, they will simply revert back to their numbered position for the first phase. I can assure you that a flank will not play prop or hooker and vice versa. If they numbers were such a problem, then surely being forced to play hooker in a scrum is also a problem. No logic to their argument, just stick with the numbers.  
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