Rugby becoming 'boring', says Hansen
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has expressed major concerns about the future of rugby, fearing it’s becoming boring.
Hansen is so worried he’s even calling on those in the sport to change the way they play for the good of the game.
He spent last weekend on a Rugby World Cup fact-finding mission by watching Wales beat France in Paris and Ireland edge England in Dublin during the Six Nations.
And the rugby he saw on show left him worried about its future.
He believes rugby at the highest level has become too focused on defence, there is too much kicking, not enough running rugby and not enough tries being scored.
Fans as a result, says Hansen, are in danger of being turned off the sport.
He told WalesOnline, "I've actually got big concerns about the game at the moment, because there are not enough tries being scored, which is turning the fans away.
"I think there's a responsibility on the coaches and the players as well. We are trying to get defensive lines up really quickly, but I think we've probably gone too far with it.
"There's a responsibility to the game. If we don't do that, then we are not going to have any running rugby.
"There were only three tries scored in the two games I went to over the weekend. No-one is prepared to take the risk, because they are going to get belted behind the advantage line if they move the ball.
"If we want to encourage people to watch the game, then scoring tries is what does that.
"We can get blinded by a loyalty to our team or we can say to ourselves, 'Is this really the game we want?'
"If we don't address it, then we are going to get very boring rugby matches.
"We are about to go into a showpiece for the sport at the World Cup. There are going to be millions and millions of people watching it and then all you’re going to see is people kick goals."
Hansen argues it is too easy to blame rugby’s problems on the referees and that the players need to stop pushing the law.