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Tackling the big rugby issue with tongue in cheek

Published 11/03/2016

Though I disagree with the recent suggestion that the tackle should be removed from schools rugby, I am convinced the game is steadily losing its way, yielding to the view that the clear cases of dangerous play in the Six Nations tournament are to be expected in the rough and tumble of the modern game.

The English rugby head coach set a new pre-match low in proclaiming that his team was charged with targeting Johnny Sexton, reminding us that Sexton was a soft target as a result of previous concussion episodes.

My solution is to set a limit on the extent of testosterone secretion permitted in players. This would call for on-the-spot blood tests taken before all matches. Those who are found to secrete an excess of the offending hormone will be deemed unfit to play. The referee should be empowered to stop play if he suspects any player is clearly turbo-charged by hormonal imbalance. Time-out will be declared while the player is appropriately tested.

There is nothing new in my suggestion - the most successful teams have always been deemed to have the right chemistry.

I should add that, following an unlawful high tackle, I am constrained to write this letter with tongue in cheek.

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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