All Blacks coach Graham Henry wants to see the old rules played at international level all year and not the contentious Experimental Law Variations (ELVs).
Henry said there would be problems appointing referees if the Experimental Law Variations were to be used in the Tri-Nations as the Northen Hemisphere is yet to test the new rules, not to mention that Wallaby coach Robbie Deans would already have had at least 13 weeks of practice with the ELVs, reports the New Zealand Herald.
Henry wants consistency to be retained for the Tri-Nations as the old rules will be used against Ireland and England during the home international series as well as on the Grand Slam tour at the end of the year.
Having observed the new laws over the course of the Super 14, Henry likes the quick throw-ins, no passing back into the 22m and the five metres back on defence from scrums – but he added there are still problems at the tackle.
Speaking on All Blacks selection issues, Henry is worried about the depth of talent available at lock as he looks ahead to the international rugby season.
Henry has closely monitored the form of the New Zealand sides in the Super 14 ahead of the international schedule, which starts with a Test against Ireland in Wellington on June 7.
The All Blacks then host England for two Tests before the Tri-Nations against South Africa and Australia.
New Zealand’s locking stocks have thinned considerably since last year’s World Cup, with Chris Jack and Greg Rawlinson now playing overseas and Keith Robinson retired.
As well, Ross Filipo has been sidelined due to a back injury and James Ryan has taken an indefinite break from the game as he continues recovering from serious shoulder and knee injuries.
It has all left Henry and his fellow selectors with much to ponder before the Irish team arrive in New Zealand, despite incumbent Ali Williams being an obvious standout to date with his form for the Crusaders.
Henry pointed out that the issue surrounding the locking position was not a new one.
“We’ve had problems at lock before. I remember in 2004 we really struggled to find enough locks to take away on the end-of-year tour.
“I think the same thing is happening.
“It is an area of concern because there is not a lot of depth there.”
Henry was not so concerned about his options at inside centre, despite both of last year’s No.12s, Aaron Mauger and Luke McAlister, now playing their trade in Britain.