The following is a transcript of their discussion on this matter
The Chairman - …we will take No. 13.
Mr. Wilson (New Zealand) - That is "Injured Players." The rules
say that the game must be played by 15 players, and we in New
Zealand do allow replacement for an injured player. After all, if a
man is injured you are only playing 14 men, if you replace him then
you are playing 15, you are not playing 16, you are not playing
more than 15 players at any one time, we are only playing the game
after all. Take the case of an injury. Take our last match against
Wales. The skipper of the Welsh side was injured shortly after the
start. Afterwards he was able to come on, half a crock. He was able
to take part in the game. Undoubtedly the Welsh team was at a
disadvantage. Apart from that a man gets an injury early in the
game, he plays on when undoubtedly he should be in bed, purely and
simply playing for his side. He knows if he is not there, or he
thinks if he is not there, his side is going to be at a
disadvantage. Perhaps that would be better for him. We can see no
reason why, up to half time, a man who is injured during the game
should not be replaced. We do not want the American system where a
player is not playing well, we know it lends itself to a fellow who
is not playing well lying down, but I do not know any British side
that would do it. We would like you to consider that, gentlemen. We
feel that it is in the interests of the men who are playing the
game, and for the game itself. A player should be replaced say
before the interval, with the consent of the opposing captain.
The Chairman - Before half time?
Mr. Wilson - Before half time. We will put a limit there. We
have not got it here, but I think it would be best to limit it.
Mr. Dean (New Zealand) - The safeguard is that you must get the
consent of the opposing captain. You have often seen a case where a
man has been hurt early in the game, and his team is only playing
14 men through the game, you would rather play 15 men. We have
played this rule for years in New Zealand and Australia, and we
have never found it abused.
Mr. Lyne (Wales) - We have done it contrary to the rules in
Newport last season, twice I believe, but the rules put the captain
in an invidious position if you are going to leave it to him. The
other side say: "May we have another man," or "May we play
so-and-so" - it puts him in a very invidious position. We have
rather ignored the rule without putting the captain in that
position. They have come forward and said: "Have you got another
man to play, if so, let him play." I do not think that our captains
would like to be put in this position. If it is made a strict rule
it must be brought into force.
Mr. Wilson - We are quite willing to drop the consent of the
captain and, for instance, if a player is replaced a substitute
must be placed in the position that he has vacated. That would
Mr. Lyne - No, it is a worse position from my point of view. As
it is today you might get an unscrupulous side playing against you,
and they might relieve and bring in fresh men, but where you are
playing some teams you are perfectly certain they will never do
anything of the sort. In that case I know my own club had done it I
believe twice last season, ignoring and possibly breaking the rule,
but I do not want a captain to be put in the awkward position of
having to say that, still less would I like it that the other team
had a right to put a man in.
Mr. Donne (England) - Another view to take is this: In some of
our small clubs, of which there are many in the country, they can
hardly make up 15 men to go away let alone take a reserve player.
They are at once at a disadvantage because the home team can find a
reserve on the spot, and they have not got any.
Mr. Wilson - I suppose the manager could always step into the
Mr. Donne - They cannot run any managers.
The Chairman - Has anybody any other views?
Dr. Brown (New South Wales) - My Union does not put that
forward. I am rather inclined to leave that out. There will be
trouble and difficulty especially in bringing in a fresh man, for
instance, a few minutes before half-time. He is practically fresh
for the next half, twice as fresh as the men who have been playing
for the whole game. It gives that side a distinct advantage. If
that applies to two or three men it would give them a very decided
Mr. Dallas (Scotland) - Presumably he is not so good a man.
Dr. Brown - Quite, but it lends itself to all sorts of trickery
which we want to avoid, and it does give a saviour of
professionalism. That is a sort of professional idea.
Mr. Donne - I have discussed this matter with Mr Dean, Mr
Chairman, and he assures me that so far as New Zealand is concerned
the thing has not been abused in the slightest degree. I can only
say I congratulate him most heartily on that, but I cannot hold out
hopes even in this country, or even beyond the Tweed, that it would
not be open to abuse.
Mr. Warren (Ireland) - That is not approved.
The Chairman - There does not seem to be general agreement on