Gloucester boss Dean Ryan believes rugby union's controversial new law variations do not match their "scaremongering" reputation.
The so-called ELVs (Experimental Law Variations) officially arrive in the northern hemisphere game on a 12-month trial from tomorrow.
They include defending teams being able to legally collapse a maul, players not allowed direct kicks into touch from inside the 22 if possession reaches them from outside that line, and backs having to stand five metres behind the feet of their number eight at a scrum in attack and defence.
There is also a series of lineout changes, including no limit on personnel numbers, while touch judges now become assistant referees and can help the main match official in any way required.
Gloucester will gain first competitive experience of the ELVs in Toronto next week when they tackle Canada A, with their Premiership rivals Sale Sharks and Newcastle also in action during the next eight days.
Worldwide trialling of the variations was sanctioned by the International Rugby Board three months ago.
Critics claim the changes are not needed, but supporters say they could lead to a faster, more open game that will thrill the fans.
Extensive trials have already taken place in major southern hemisphere competitions like the Tri-Nations and Super 14.
Ryan said: “The ELVs are obviously going to change parts of the game.
“But given the scaremongering and all the political shenanigans over the summer, it is not as bad as it could have been.
“Some of the ELVs are positive, and we’ve got some I can’t really see the sense of, but in terms of where we could have been, it is not the end of the world.
“For us, the Canada trip is an early chance to try some things. The game against Canada A means we can try some of the things we have been talking about during pre-season.
“I think the five-metre scrum law is going to be interesting. It offers some different ways of attacking and defending, but it is not as clear-cut as it sounds.
“It has implications in other areas such as organisation, and you might see back-row moves coming in, a bit of old school if you like.
“It allows you a little more ability to get across the gain-line, but it will also be interesting to see how it is refereed.
“It has been refereed (in the southern hemisphere) that the defending side has to stand back five metres, but not necessarily the attacking side! That’s going to be interesting.”