It is approaching 40 years, remarkably, since two tone music was in vogue and The Specials were topping the charts with Too Much Too Young. The lyrics Ben Revere Womens Jersey related to teenage motherhood not professional club rugby, which did not yet exist, but they still sprang to mind over the weekend. Too much pain, too many rugby players going off prematurely, too many contenders for an arthritic (or worse) old age.
You can tell things are in danger of getting out of hand when several clubs turn up for round four of the Premiership season with a third of their squads already sidelined. Wasps have been heavily hit, the table-topping Exeter Chiefs even more so. Worcester Warriors are a casualty ward dressed up as a professional sporting team. In the Harlequins v Leicester game the England flanker Chris Robshaw was knocked out, there were two further failed head injury assessments and his colleagues Mike Brown and Marcus Smith also limped into England’s training camp in Oxford. It is not yet October.
Tapping up the depressing news of Billy Vunipola’s latest long-term knee injury – whilst looking up from the keyboard to watch the Chiefs’ Sam Simmonds being carried off on a stretcher – was another grim sign of the times. Happily the young flanker was back up on his feet after the game but the justified praise Nathan Hughes received for tending to his stricken Authentic Bud Norris Womens Jersey opponent masked a less comfortable reality. We are so used to prone bodies being carted off, the use of emergency oxygen masks and the inevitable months of post-surgery rehabilitation that the bleeding obvious is being overlooked: we are talking about a sport here, not a serious road traffic accident.These attitudes are suddenly so normalised at the top level of the game that Danny Cipriani recently tweeted of his good fortune at “only” being sidelined for two months by his knee ligament injury. How many other sports in the world share that philosophical mindset? Imagine if most professional authors or musicians were suddenly unable to use their fingers for eight to 10 weeks of the year. Or, as with the prematurely retired George Lowe and Will Fraser, were permanently chopped down in their prime. At Worcester, post-match casualty lists have become such a grim litany the club even issued a directive this season (since rescinded) forbidding reporters from asking injury-related Curtis Granderson Youth Jersey questions at press conferences.
We have not even mentioned the dreaded acronymn CTE, which stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease which now features as regularly in American gridiron reporting as the word touchdown. All involved in a contact sport like rugby have to realise a head knock is not some kind of minor graze but something to be treated with the utmost seriousness. Club officials need to be urged to “recognise and remove” and not be tempted, in a tight situation, to turn a blind eye should a player take a glancing hit and fleetingly lose consciousness.
The authorities are playing catch-up. How on earth is it ethically possible for a player to be knocked cold late in a game without his coach being able to replace him, as has now happened to Bath and Gloucester on successive Friday nights? With a permanent head-related removal being, well, permanent, the regulations do not permit a temporary sub. Some argue it is the fault of coaches for deploying their subs too early and that the same dispensation is unavailable if a player breaks a leg. To which the answer is blindingly obvious: we have only one brain and, for Authentic Darryl Strawberry Womens Jersey that reason, head injuries should be classified differently.Frankly it is a loophole which should be closed immediately – or, at the very latest, by the end of the week. Whatever the official statistics insist, players are absorbing greater impacts more often than at any stage in the game’s history. George Ford is being applauded for making 29 tackles in the past two weekends but even that stat tells a darker story. Adidas Mets Jersey Once Adidas Mets Authentic Jersey upon Angels Jersey a Angels Authentic Jersey time, creative fly-halves made approximately one tackle per season, mostly on fellow backs. Now Uncle Tom Cobley et al are stamping down the 10 channel as a matter of course, to the point where Rollerball and professional rugby are becoming indistinguishable. Risk and reward have never been so wincingly intertwined.