Three issues that wouldn’t go away
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.”