Match-fit pitch

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters to the editor - Su­nil Ru­pas­inha

SIR – An­drew Given (Let­ters, Fe­bru­ary 4) sug­gests that the so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of an ever-mount­ing in­jury toll in mod­ern rugby is to set lim­its on the av­er­age weight of teams.

Surely the most ef­fec­tive rem­edy would be to in­crease the size of the stan­dard pitch. This would place a small but marked ex­tra pre­mium on pace and skill, mak­ing the game more of a spec­ta­cle.

Bearsted, Kent

SIR – The present in­jury cri­sis in rugby is due to changes in the rules whereby, at a break­down, only two or three play­ers are in­volved. Pre­vi­ously, five or six play­ers from each side would be in­volved in a ruck.

As a re­sult of this change, the mid­dle of the field is now clut­tered by a pha­lanx of for­wards wait­ing to smash the op­po­si­tion player who next gets the ball. Sidesteps, swerves, speed and de­cep­tion no longer play a part – it is pure at­tri­tion. In­jury is thus in­evitable.

There are two pos­si­ble ways out of this im­passe. One is to re­vert to the old rule. The other, as Rugby League dis­cov­ered a cen­tury ago, is to re­duce the num­bers of play­ers on the field to 13-a-side. Adrian Lloyd-Ed­wards

Stoke Flem­ing, Devon

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