Crazy calendar robbed us of Ford v Farrell
THE encounter between the Premiership’s top two sides in Salford symbolised the calendar-clash nonsense which must be resolved if rugby is to truly thrive. This should have been a glittering showpiece of the domestic game.
There were two impressive lineups on show yesterday but seven key players were unavailable as they were in Steve Borthwick’s England camp and watching from afar.
Just imagine, it should have been George Ford v Owen Farrell (left) in a marquee playmaker match-up. It should have been Jonny Hill up against the man who, not so long ago, he partnered in England’s second row — Maro Itoje. It should have been one or both Currys — Ben and Tom — locking horns with Ben Earl.
It should have been Bevan Rodd striving to outshine Mako Vunipola on the other side of the front row. There was still plenty of class on both sides, but the sport cannot carry on in this way, with important fixtures diminished by the entirely avoidable absence of fit players.