TV Bosses Want Rugby Coaches To Reveal Game Plans In A 'Broadcasting Revolution'
English rugby "will be asked to agree to a broadcasting revolution that would see coaches sharing tactics and game plans with television commentators before matches," according to Hugh Godwin of the London INDEPENDENT. The "radical proposals" are being put forward by BT Vision. The company is paying close to £1B ($1.6B) to become major players in football and rugby, and will pitch a series of innovations to the 12 Premiership coaches this month. The "taboo-busting ideas" include teams revealing elements of their gameplan to TV commentators -- who would be sworn to secrecy -- and players being filmed in training practising their moves. These would be compared to match footage to "show if they worked." Other innovations to the English game include "players being interviewed as they come off the field at half-time or go into the sin-bin, and a camera in the pitch to give a worm's-eye view of scrums." Premiership coaches said that they "were keeping an open mind ahead of face-to-face meetings with BT producers in the next fortnight." Leicester Tigers' Dir of Rugby Richard Cockerill said, "I think clubs would be open to it. You have to build the game and build the brand and build support within the game." London Irish coach Brian Smith said: "I'm all for innovation and I'll wait to see what is proposed. But I'm pretty sure the coaches would guard their tactics jealously. I wouldn't be keen on sharing our thought process or detailed preparation. It's sport, it's not Big Brother" (INDEPENDENT, 1/20).