All Blacks great takes swing at own code over debate: 'Go watch league'

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
All Blacks star Bauden Barrett (pictured right) reacting with disappointment and (pictured left) Daly Cherry-Evans and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui celebrating.
All Blacks great Israel Dagg has claimed rugby union is certainly competing with rugby league as a spectacle in today's market and needs to fix up its rules. (Getty Images)

All Blacks great Israel Dagg has taken a swipe at the state of Rugby Union after comparing to the recent State of Origin decider.

New Zealand was left shellshocked a series defeat against Ireland at home following a 32-22 loss in the third Test in Wellington.

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Ireland's first ever Test series triumph in New Zealand coincided with the All Blacks' first series defeat on home soil since 1994.

It's left the proud rugby nation shattered and searching for answers, with pressure inevitably mounting on coach Ian Foster.

This was compounded following the public relations debacle surrounding Foster, the All Blacks and not immediately fronting the media after the series loss.

Since the defeat, World Cup winning All Black Dagg has taken a swipe at the state of the code.

During the The42 Rugby Weekly Extra podcast, Dagg said he feels rugby union is directly competing with the entertainment level of rugby league.

“We’ve got a real situation now where rugby league and rugby union are competing, and rugby league is absolutely dominating," Dagg said on the podcast.

“I don’t know if you saw the State of Origin the other day, New South Wales vs Queensland. But (it was) probably the game of a century.

“If you want to go watch sport for entertainment, you go watch league at the moment. They’re ticking all the boxes. But one of the big factors for that is that they’ve got clarity in how the game is being played.”

Israel Dagg takes swipe at rugby union's rules

Dagg took particular issue with the ambiguous rules was getting in the way of the spectacle.

While Ireland were the better team across the three Test matches, the second game was rocked with controversy when All Blacks prop Angus Ta’avao was sent off after a head clash with centre Garry Ringrose.

Wallabies winger Izaia Perese was also controversially sin-binned against England in the second Test match when he knocked the ball-on when attempting an intercept.

And Dagg thinks the rules have resulted in the game becoming too stop-start for fans.

The All Blacks look on during the International Test match against Ireland at Sky Stadium.
The All Blacks lost their first series at home since 1994. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

“The rules, the officiating (in rugby), it’s confusing. It’s so confusing. It’s so stop-start, there is no ball-in-play,” Dagg added.

“A good start is maybe just getting some common sense up in World Rugby. Some of the officiating is putting people off.”

The All Blacks have retained under-fire coach Foster for their upcoming Tour of South Africa.

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