Safety in Rugby: The Key To Defusing Leinster's Time Bomb

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Safety in Rugby: The Key To Defusing Leinster's Time Bomb

Postby backrower8 » January 10th, 2019, 8:03 pm

I am putting these updated remarks in a thread of their own. Let it sink or swim. I am trying to encourage dialogue and action on safeguarding our sport and our team by, in this instance, fostering debate amongst Leinster Addicts. With 4 deaths in France in 8 months the clock is ticking much louder and faster than ever before and this online community should be part of the force for making our sport much safer than it is now.

I believe we all need to do more to make our sport much safer than it is. Talking about what we can do as rugby enthusiasts and what we think the sport's governing bodies should do is part of the agitation needed to protect players at all levels and in the process safeguard the future of our sport and especially Leinster Rugby.

As I have said before, Leinster/all Rugby is at risk generally with increasing concerns about the sport's safety at all levels beyond minis.

We have a particular weakness in that we are overreliant on schools who produce 75% of our player intake and they are INDEPENDENT entities of (LB)IRFU.

I consider schools that play in the Leinster Schools Cup competitions to be feeder schools into Leinster Rugby. These INDEPENDENT rugby schools are collectively one big eco-system. It doesn't matter much if some have no pro players and others have a few. When one of these schools catches a 'cold' (from a rugby brain injury or death) then Leinster Pro-rugby will get 'pneumonia' because Leinster Rugby doesn't govern/control any of them and will not be able to limit the damage it will incur from schools taking the foot off the pedal of their rugby programmes - or even exiting the sport. Some schools have already done this by reducing the emphasis on rugby or keeping a limit on how hard it is pushed as an activity in the school's offering. Others have decided to literally muscle-up and chase the rugy dream very hard. For better or worse.

No, I don't have solutions but here are some suggestions for what the governing bodies, from LBIRFU to IRFU to World Rugby, should do:

- THE MAIN SUGGESTION: Make the game much safer, sooner. Just get it done as all the time people are losing confidence or being turned off in greater numbers.

- THE TEMPORARY & INADEQUATE ONE: Spread the risk by increasing the output of pro players from a wider range of rugby hotbeds:

Belvedere, Terenure, Castlenock and St Mary's (there is a glut of players coming from St Michael's, Blackrock & Clongowes)
The next layer of rugby schools & the rugby clubs
Work hard to avoid a major dip in the output of the big 3 schools producers - rugby safety is the key here

- OTHER - We the supporters/fans, parents, players, volunteers...don't wait for World Rugby & (LB)IRFU to do it, we should be the change agents we needby putting the governing bodies under pressure. Agitate - which is what I do here and have done elsewhere including meeting the IRFU. Pressure works.
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