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Rugby can learn from GAA safety

Already this year, I have experienced two of the most exciting, adrenalin-boosting matches I have seen in ages - the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Galway and Tipperary and the Ireland v France game in the Rugby World Cup.

Both these sports are fast, very physical and prone to accidents. The most notable comparison was that all the hurlers wore protective headgear, while only three or four of the rugby players had any head protection.

The few who did wear headguards acted more confidently and seemed more ferocious in the scrums.

The GAA, in a bid to prevent serious head trauma and concussion, made the wearing of helmets, including face-guards, compulsory at all levels of hurling from January 1, 2010.

While not detracting from the speed, quality, or excitement of the game, the added confidence shown and the reduction in injury consequent to wearing headgear has been quite remarkable.

How many more rugby players must suffer serious injuries before similar action is taken?


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