Three is­sues that wouldn’t go away

NZ Rugby World - - 2017 The Year In Review -

1000 hours played. That num­ber is surely in­creas­ing as it has be­come ap­par­ent that play­ers can’t ex­pect to play for overly long th­ese days with­out need­ing to take a Head In­jury As­sess­ment.

Play­ers run­ning off to be as­sessed was a fea­ture of the Lions se­ries and Rugby Cham­pi­onship and it seems now that al­most ev­ery test there will be some­one un­avail­able due to a head knock.

One way of look­ing at this is that de­tec­tion is im­prov­ing as is aware­ness and that play­ers and coaches are no longer try­ing to cover things up.

But the other is that rugby is be­com­ing such a bru­tal game in so many as­pects that the head is be­ing put in ever greater dan­ger. when Samoa asked the RFU ahead of their Novem­ber clash with Eng­land, if it would be pos­si­ble for them to re­ceive $160,000 of the ticket rev­enue gen­er­ated at Twick­en­ham.

If this sounds a lot, it is not. Selling out Twick­en­ham gen­er­ates around $12 mil­lion and the Samoans, who were pay­ing their play­ers just $600 in match fees, wanted to see if they could be given a slice of the pie.

But the fact they have to ask is just plain wrong – a point World Rugby deputy chair­man Agustin Pi­chot made.

“The whole eco­nomic equa­tion in rugby is wrong at the mo­ment,” Pi­chot said. “I can’t bull**** you and say it’s all fine, be­cause it is a mas­sive is­sue. We need a long-term plan.

“The rev­enue share model has been dis­cussed. But the tier one coun­tries de­cided that wouldn’t sus­tain their economies. Eng­land can say they built their sta­dium to gen­er­ate profit. Scot­land can ar­gue they would be broke if they had to rev­enue share.

“New Zealand can say they need a turnover of 150 mil­lion to break even. You could take the view that is self­ish, but it’s their right to make those points.

“I’m not a great sup­porter of mak­ing the rich richer but I was in those meet­ings and it’s tough. Some­one has £200 mil­lion and they want £220 mil­lion. I’m look­ing for a fair growth of the game.”

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