Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward has lashed out at the quality of the modern rugby game, describing it as "unwatchable".
The quality of rugby in the Autumn Nations Cup, which features all six northern Six Nations sides plus Georgia and Fiji, has been criticised with kicking rather than retaining the ball dominating games.
Woodward, who coached the national team for seven years, wrote in a column for The Daily Mail, agreed and said the game is "exasperating, infuriating, [and] frustrating".
"Kicking should always be part of the game — but only part. If it takes over to the extent we are seeing, it's not rugby anymore," he says.
"It's just as well there are no crowds because by midway through the second half they would be voting with their feet.
"It's killing the game and is a huge turn-off for any casual sports fan who has turned to rugby during this year of the lockdown."
Woodward's coaching time in the game spanned 25 years, beginning with cub Henley in 1990. He mentored England form 1997 until 2004, reinventing the national side and leading them to their only Rugby World Cup triumph in 2003.
The tournament has likely been an enduring watch for fans so far, who have been starved of rugby in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On top of that there are ongoing pressures on unions and clubs to stay afloat, particularly from a financial perspective. Many also are in the dark over whether outbreaks could escalate, and cause mass lockdowns which would cripple the ability for game to go ahead.
As a result Woodward has appealed to coaches, players and those involved in the game to reinvigorate the sport.
"Rugby's finances are very perilous, so we need to be pulling in new fans and keeping the old. At present we are driving both away.
"I would love to ask all six teams and the six sets of coaches what exactly they were hoping to achieve by the endless downfield punts and ill-directed high balls?
"What's the end game here? Are you happy spending the prime years of your short rugby life playing like this?
"Do you not wish sometimes to play 80 minutes of exhilarating, skilful running rugby with yes, of course, some clever grubbers and kick passes to the wing?"
The Nations Cup has been hindered by Covid as it is with Fiji forced to remain in a hotel just north of Saint-Etienne in France for 22 days now, after an outbreak within the team. Their three group games were cancelled and deemed 28-nil losses against them as a result.
France and England will meet in the tournament final after finishing top of their respective groups.