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Injuries part and parcel of game we love: Jamie Heaslip

By David Kelly

Published 22/11/2016

Tough sport: Jamie Heaslip has defended rugby’s physicality
Tough sport: Jamie Heaslip has defended rugby’s physicality

Jamie Heaslip has taken some heavy punishment on the field before but does not share the concern of some that his sport is going to hell in a hand-cart.

“It’s a contact sport, people get hurt. I am not concerned at all. You enter the game knowing there is a risk. It’s a physical game, you know,” he said. “You hope everyone who’s involved in the game is putting things in place to make sure they’re looking after you.

“We’re given the guidance from our coaches, who get it from World Rugby or the referees. We play to the best of our ability within those rules. It’s a physical game, a dynamic game. It’s ever-moving, ever-evolving. People make mistakes.

“Sometimes someone gets a shot in the head. A lad falls on you, you get a knee in the head. All sorts of things can happen, you know what I mean.

“I’m not going to hide the fact that it’s a physical sport. You’re running into someone!

“Physics dictates there’s going to be impact, there’s going to be force and sometimes lads get banged up.

“I’ve been playing professional rugby now for 11 years and the approach to injury, and whatever it is with the body, has drastically changed in that time.

“As a player that’s what you hope for. As a player you enter the game knowing there is a bit of risk to it.

“If it was easy everyone would be playing it but it’s not. It’s a tough bloody game.”

Meanwhile, Mike Ross is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Leinster revealed that the veteran tighthead prop had torn his hamstring.

The 36-year old was forced off after just five minutes in Leinster’s win over Zebre at the start of the month and, after initially undergoing a scan, he will have a second one later this week to determine the full extent of the damage.

Leinster are reluctant to put a time-frame on how long Ross will be out for, but they have confirmed that the tear is a “high grade.”

“No, not at all,” scrum coach John Fogarty responded when it was put to him that it didn’t sound good for Ross.

“He’s got a tear in his hamstring. There was an initial scan and he is getting it rescanned this week. We’ll know more about the time-frame after that.”

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