Is rugby changing?

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but the last months I noticed a change in attitude when I watched some rugby games.
For me rugby was and is not only a game. It’s a way of life, an attitude. The battles on the field can be hard, but they are fought with respect and discipline.
During the 6 nations – games more players were arguing with the referee, others were trying, what they call in football “professional fouls” (but in fact it is just “false play”) and even the amount of high tackles was higher than in the past….
In Belgium, rugby is not the most popular sport, but many young players make a switch from football to rugby just because it’s (more) fair. Especially children with autism who like straight rules, the fair play, the respect for the referee, … enjoy playing rugby. It gives them a steady base and less confusion. At home their parents teach them to do the right thing and at their local football team they witness that people who don’t to the right thing (by making professional fouls – amongst other things), get better results and even praise.
Nobody is upset. It’s becoming normal to do the “wrong” thing.
Everyday the media are writing about protecting our values, but when it comes down to sports some of those wanted norms do no longer count. Tv- stations and newspapers are helping, not trying to avoid, this false play. They even make heroes of some of those cheaters. For me, education of our children and how they play and react on a sports field is the start of how we could change this. It’s part of our own responsibility!
The agitations during and after the game Belgium against Spain were another example of this negative change. For me, the showing of emotions (to a certain level) is normal in sports. Abnormal is first of all the choice of a Romanian empire when you know that they have great benefits from a Spanish defeat. Secondarily, the Spanish complaint was denied by Rugby Europe, who have a Romanian chairman…. These are things that easily could have been avoided by appointing a more “neutral” referee. The fact that this didn’t happen in the first place is, in all respect, for me at least very strange.
So, this is not a writing against football or Romania as contestant at the world cup rugby, …
I just don’t want rugby to lose its values and pride, because that’s what makes it, especially in these times, a very attractive sport for youngster/people searching for a hold on. Don’t let it slide into decay. Let it always be a game for barbarians, played by gentlemen and not a cheating game!