Jonny Wilkinson has backed the plan to make an example of simulators, after it was announced that players who feign injuries may be sin-binned at the World Cup.
John Jeffrey, chairman of the World Rugby match officials selection committee, has revealed a clampdown on what is described as soccer-style behaviour, and said players found to be diving or feigning injuries risked being yellow-carded.
While England’s World-Cup-winning hero of 2003 suggested it is not something that is widespread in the game, having never considered it in his own playing days, he supported the idea of punishing those who offended.
The retired fly-half said: “It’s a funny one. I’ve never found myself taking a dive, etc. I can’t imagine why you would, but also in rugby you get hit.
“The other thing that’s in your mind is, every second, or millisecond you’re on the floor you’re not helpful or doing something positive for your team and that’s why it’s all about getting back onto your feet immediately.”
Wilkinson, who was well known to be one of the toughest players in the game, even admitted he had gone to extreme lengths to hide possible injuries from opponents.
“Even at times when I’ve had neck injuries and whatever, one of the great messages, and something you have to be careful on, is ‘get up, get up’,” he said. “Just being in the line — those pains go very quickly — you just get up and move on.”
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