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Oval ball skills will always beat bulk on the pitch

Published 26/10/2015

In response to James Gleeson's letter about rugby and hurling and headgear (DebateNI, October 22), I must refute the claims. First off, rugby and hurling are different sports. The issue with rugby being more dangerous than it used to be is down to the rules not being applied consistently by referees.

Behind the back foot of a ruck is still a law, but it is completely ignored by referees now. Diving off your feet into rucks is also illegal, but seems to be called "clearing out" now - for some reason this is seen as legal.

Size is not more important than skill. As was shown in the Ireland v Argentina match, fast wingers are better than big ones and more muscular props don't mean better props.

This reasoning that bigger is better leads to young players bulking up when they need to be focusing on ball skills first.

Bulking up is very dangerous to health, if you truly want to keep rugby safe, then you have to get across to young players that ball skills will always beat bulk.


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