The International Rugby Board appears to be considering drastic proposals to outlaw the scrum cap from all levels of rugby within the next twelve months.
Whilst some legal experts claim that an outright ban may not be feasible in the short term, the IRB may at the very least consider imposing in game penalties and sanctions against players and teams who use what the IRB are calling a 'superfluous item'.
The game's governing body is driven by a concern that rugby is increasingly losing its 'masculine' edge and is fast becoming more soccer like in its outward appearance and culture. With ever outlandish kit designs from club and national teams; soccer style collarless shirts; a rise in play acting by players; the common use of coloured boots and fake tan; increasingly outlandish try celebrations and high levels of personal grooming, the IRB is worried that rugby's tough image, which is major part of the sport's appeal to sponsors, broadcasters and supporters, may become undermined and lead to long term decline in revenues and following.
The IRB have created a working group to review the benefits of radically changing rugby's laws to help salvage the game's image and prevent players, officials and teams from looking 'increasingly ridiculous and somewhat cowardly'. Whilst everything from the issue of fake tans and coloured boots will be addressed, it seems a crusade against the scrum cap will be the overriding priority of the Dublin based lawmakers.
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