Readers’ Views: Head injuries concern and more…

Date published: January 26 2017

Our latest inbox discusses treatment of head injuries and Pacific Island nations losing players overseas.

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Head injuries are about the ball carrier, not just the tackler

In recent years the policing of the tackle has increased a lot with the focus being on the tackler. I don’t have a problem with this in itself, as reducing head injuries is very important to ensure that rugby has a future.

However, in stark contrast to these strict regulations, there is a clear lack of regulation over the actions of the ball carrier. It is infact the tackler that is much more lickley to sustain a concusion in the tackle. You could say this is fair as players themselves should use a better tackling technique, or that they could indeed not tackle the player at all….

On the other hand you could say that the player being takcled also has some responsibility to take the tackle in a safe manner. So many players make a carrier out of being running straight over people (J. Savea, Tuilagi… it’s a very long list). If you watch slow motion clips of how these players take tackles, in many cases they bring down there upper arm/shoulder to get under the tackler usually making clear contact with the tacklers head.

This often stuns the tackler/knocks them clean off and they can not make the tackle. It looks spectacular, but the risk of head injury to the tackler is very high. This even happens then the tackler is aiming for the sweet spot just above the knees.

The ball carrier should have ways to avoid the tackle, but with so much responsibility on the tackler I think that world rugby needs to seriously consider more regulation on the ball carrier, bringing some parity to the tackle.

People might argue that the sport is loosing it’s physicality, but on the other hand, such rules may lead to players with good footwork and handling skills having a stronger advantage, which is much more exciting in my opinion.

Brendan Bulfin

The appropriation of Pacific Island talent

New Zealand rugby “appropriates” another Fijian rugby player. We are just asking – How did they get Vilimoni Koroi?

Was he born in New Zealand? Was he handed a secondary school rugby scholarship? We wish Vili all the best in his professional rugby career. Our concern is that the New Zealand Rugby Football Union does very little for rugby development in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga but they sure don’t hesitate to snatch up Pacific Island players to help boost the All Blacks in 7s and XVs.

Joe Cokanasiga is another player that will line up for England U20 in the Six Nations this year.

The issue is that we don’t mind Fijian and any Pacific Island players playing for Australia or any nation, but all we are asking is a little bit of returns in terms of test matches in the islands or include the Pacific into the Super rugby.

Yes, there has been problems with administrations at national levels in the region but if that is the case and if world rugby and the powerhouses are thinking about development why don’t they (SANZAR or World Rugby) appoint the executives leading to better accountability and transparency.

Apart from Scotland and New Zealand (just once) in the last ten years visiting the islands and playing a Test match there… how many other teams (Tier 1) has played in the Pacific. Wales is hopefully coming this year.

The Pacific islands has given a lot to world rugby in terms of flair and revenue, we’d appreciate a little help from the power houses and this we want in tangible.

Sake Kamunaga

Agree or disagree? Or have something else to get off your chest?