Rob Baxter, the head coach at Exeter, has said that the league and its supporters need to “move on” from the problems that have plagued it over the past year.
After filing for bankruptcy, the league booted three teams: Wasps, Worcester, and London Irish.
Meanwhile, the tackle height restrictions have been the source of controversy, leading to the suspensions of high-profile players like Owen Farrell.
The nice things that happen in rugby are “very rarely talked about,” Baxter added.
We can’t seem to shake our current fixation with tall tackling players.
To paraphrase one commentator: “Whether we modify the legislation or not, it appears to infatuate people whether someone gets a yellow card or a red card and what the implications of that are.
As in, “When was the last time we talked about the Premiership being the most competitive league in the world?” Baxter reported to BBC Sport.
The Premiership has more close games (decided by seven points or less) and more tries than any other league.
The league’s teams are collapsing and attendance is down, but we talk about it all the time.
The whole situation with English rugby is something we’ve brought upon ourselves, but we can overcome it if we choose to.
Players like Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie, and Sam and Joe Simmonds have all left Exeter due to the club’s salary constraint cuts and gone on to play for other English clubs or abroad in the world.
The rebuilt Premiership Rugby Cup kicks off this weekend, and Baxter will be putting a young squad through its paces when they host Bristol.
This season, “I think we’ll see some really vibrant rugby in both the Premiership Cup and the Premiership,” Baxter said.
There’s no reason to believe this year’s league won’t be just as competitive as 2016’s. That season was full of nail-biters, near-misses, and close finishes; it deserved better praise than it got.
Longtime Exeter manager, however, added: “Has anybody read a news piece in the last week that hasn’t been either an ex-coach or ex-player or someone making a remark on the England team or what’s happening?
“It seems like no one can ever try to write something that might turn out to be positive; there are so few individuals looking for a future and finding a route forward and ‘lets get ready for the start of a new season and find some excitement around things.