FACE-OFF JASON HENNESSY WILL KELLEHER
Should players have t he right t o privacy over injuries?
Put yourself in a player’s shoes. Would you like your medical information readily
available to the public, as well as any potential future employers? If you have a history of back problems, do you want that information readily available when you’re applying for a manual labour job? The answer is a resounding
no. And you know it. Conor Murray recently followed in the footsteps of Jamie Heaslip by keeping
his medical information private. Yes, I’m sure it’s a little frustrating for Irish and Munster fans not knowing when one of their star players will return. But the player has a lot more to lose. Heaslip has brought action against two
insurance companies because of his issues. Johnny Sexton’s had problems getting insurance cover because of a concussion stigma that hangs over him.
Buying tickets and merchandise for your club does not give you the right to access someone’s private records. Being in the media doesn’t entitle you to overstep doctor-patient confidentiality. If a player or club wants to be transparent that’s fine. If they don’t, then so be it.
And it’s not an excuse to speculate.
DAILY MAIL RUGBY REPORTER
It’s best to be honest about injuries or it generates so many rumours. All the cloak-and-dagger messages lead to increased speculation. It can actually become a bigger story than simply saying the player has a hamstring tear. Look at all the stories around Conor Murray’s long period on the sidelines. If there had been a clear statement about his injury, all the controversy would have been avoided.
Players have said injuries are being misreported and that this has caused problems insurance-wise, but if the media were given accurate information it wouldn’t have happened.
The IRFU receives money from Sport Ireland, taxpayers’ money, so surely Irish people deserve to know what the injury situation is with star players. It’s the same with sports clubs on the stock market – a long-term injury to a key player could affect the club’s value.
Fans pay decent money to watch rugby and want to know who will be playing.
We’re not asking for players’ GP records or a detailed medical history, but injuries that will keep them out of action and stop them doing their job.
There’s plenty of bark in this team compiled by Greg and Zach Noble from Sheffield. Send your Alternative XV to
West Highland Terrier