15 Apr 2009

ELVs deal close, says Deans

6:19 am on 15 April 2009

The Wallabies coach Robbe Deans says agreement on the most contentious of rugby's experimental laws is close and will produce the "perfect game".

Last month's International Rugby Board conference on the ELVs recommended most of the new rules be adopted.

But there was no agreement on the crucial proposal to punish most offences with a free-kick instead of a "full-arm" penalty.

Deans was at the conference and says those against the "sanctions" rule, predominantly northern hemisphere nations, soon realised they were essentially on the same page as those for it, including Australia.

He says the biggest challenges are around the contact area, around the tackle, the ruck.

Now there's an average of about 24 total sanctions, 17 of which would be free-kick and seven penalties.

If that was turned around Deans says it would be close to the perfect outcome.

The final recommendations will be drawn up by the IRB's rugby committee for the governing body's consideration next month.