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.
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