Shelford slams IRB rulings
Cape Town – Former All Black captain, Wayne “Buck” Shelford is at it again, this time lashing out at the IRB for their handling of the rules and regulations of the Rugby World Cup.
The outspoken Shelford has voiced his concern in the past for the unnecessary pressure the All Blacks are placed under, following an off-field drinking incident involving Corey Jane.
This time, he warns that the IRB needs to clear up a few ambiguities before the next edition of the tournament.
"The tournament thus far has been brilliant. There have been issues of the rules of the tournament: The unfairness of games, of breaks between games, all those sorts of things, a lot has to be sorted out before the next world cup,” Shelford told The New Zealand Herald.
Shelford suggested that instead of moving with the times, the IRB needs to take a step back to fulfil its supposed vision to have rugby become a global sport to rival the popularity already experienced by football.
"We've got to step into the 20th century big time with the way we're running this game, this tournament - it's not just about the big boys - if they want to make this game global, present it as a global game," Shelford added.
"Make it fair for everybody and have a little bit of respect for the players who come here, not throwing them out of their hotels the day after a game - that's terrible, I think just give them a couple of days grace to leave.
"But it's all about money. And that shows you that greed of the IRB that it's all about money.
Shelford went onto say that the IRB’s rule to only give the player’s a limited amount of time to stay in the country after they had been eliminated is a disgrace to the organisation.
"I'd say everyone in the world would think they should be given a couple of days’ grace. I think it's pretty mean to throw them out of the country after losing.
"It's the players that bring the tournament to life not the IRB.
"It's become a big money making venture and they are making lots of money. If you want to spend money on the players, well here's another way of doing it.
"They've (the players) just actually brought the money through the turnstiles, through the sponsorship to actually help this game, so your helping them for a couple of days for a hotel bill, for a, you know, food bill, they'd appreciate that tenfold."
He also took a swipe at organisers over tomorrow's 3rd-4th place playoff clash between Wales and Australia.
"They've got to play for it, they've got to go out there and play for that position because that's part of the tournament whether you like it or not.
"It's a tough one for both teams... It's a character game. After both losing their semi finals it's a big one to come back and play for a loser’s position.
"I don't know why the administrators don't look at that as well, it's probably just another money making venture, another game to make money. They could have put a plate final on along the way and get the best out of the rest."