Don’t know if any Northern Hemisphere guys are following this, but read these two articles in the Daily Telegraph a couple days ago, sort of knew about the ELVs but didn’t realize they were this bad:
"Enjoy your rugby while you can for the remainder of this season because from August the game as we know it now may cease to exist. This Thursday the International Rugby Board will vote on a series of experimental law variations (ELVs) that, if implemented, will dramatically affect the way rugby is played, will heap an intolerable educational burden on all those splendid, unpaid officials who referee the community game in all areas of Europe, and will pander to those who believe that rugby is a sport where ball-in-play time and try-counts are the only indicators of value. Crazy.
The prospect is so appalling that for the first time in my memory, Premiership directors of rugby, referees and Rugby Football Union officials, never the most compatible of bedfellows, have collaborated in an alliance of condemnation against the proposed changes. Leading figures in Wales and Ireland are also dead set against the variations, which have been driven chiefly by Australia and trialled (some of them) in this year’s Super 14 competition."
"What must also be remembered is that the laws are for the enjoyment of all players and spectators, not just those of internationals and the professional televised game. The single most beneficial aspect of rugby union is that it is a game for all shapes and sizes, where the contributions of those blessed with static strength rather than speed are of equal value to their team.
The avowed intent of the ELVs, to speed up the game, runs counter to this ‘prime directive’, and I ask why those championing speed over all else are able to do so without demur. Nothing and no one should threaten this principle."
Looks like they’re trying to turn it into an imitation of league, where everyone’s basically the same size and the set-piece is non-existent (or close). I’ve only watched a rugby league game once (and may be biased because the league guys at my school are dickheads), but it looked boring to me, don’t want to see union go that way.