FIFA can have a good idea

During the 2014 FIFA World cup we saw the introduction of a white vanishing spray being used by referees to mark where a free kick should be taken.

With rugby referees constantly turning a blind eye to crooked feeds perhaps it is time that they used the same spray to set the scrum. A small line could be drawn as the centre spot with hookers heads positioned over the mark before and when the ball is put in. The mark would also be the line on which the scrum-half must put the ball in. Perhaps this might end the ridiculous feeding by scrum-halves . If referees penalize crooked feeds the No. 9’s would soon learn.

The hookers would then have to hook the ball,which is why they are called “hookers!” Without this basic skill the role of a hooker becomes redundant,as their only designated role would be to throw the ball in at a line-out – which can be done by any player prepared to learn the skill.

Mike Miles

Premiership rugby to the US should stay a dream

Football’s Premiership seems to be trying to revive the notion of playing an extra league fixture in faraway lands..Burnley v Stoke in Bangkok anyone?

Rugby seems to have caught the same bug. There is talk of the Aviva Premiership and the Six Nations taking a game to the United States. Blame the All Blacks who drew a 61,000 crowd to watch them play the US Eagles in Chicago.

Once again it shows the disconnect between those who run the game and those who watch it. The first Six Nations match next year is a Friday evening kick-off in Cardiff. I can tell you from bitter experience that the road into the Welsh capital from the London end turns into a car park every Friday, regardless of what might be happening at the Millennium Stadium.

How far is the game prepared to bow to the demands of television? I think we know that the answer to that is “how far would you like us to?”

But what justification is there for taking a game to a country thousands of miles away where rugby’s footprint would not even show up in the sand?

Mike Miles