In­juries hap­pen in rugby, it’s a con­tact sport af­ter all

The Rugby Paper - - News -

COLIN Boag’s com pari­son of golf club mem­bers and club ten­nis play­ers ver­sus Tommy Fleet­wood or Andy Mur­ray to rugby play­ers from level 3-5 against Premier­ship/ Cham­pi­onship play­ers is in­sult­ing and ill in­formed.

The rea­son there is an alarm­ingly di­min­ish­ing num­ber of play­ers at club 1st XV level is that the level of skill, fit­ness and, quite frankly, brav­ery re­quired to com­pete calls upon play­ers to be a unique hu­man spec­i­men and ded­i­cated to their sport which mir­rors the top level in con­tent and struc­ture.

In ad­di­tion they have to hold down jobs while fit­ting in fit­ness and train­ing regimes. They do not pull out the golf clubs or ten­nis rac­quets on Sun­day af­ter­noons.

While “elite” play­ers have ac­cess and time for fan­tas­tic con­di­tion­ing and skill devel­op­ment in full time clubs, none of them would un­der­es­ti­mate or be­lit­tle the abil­ity and com­mit­ment of their coun­ter­parts in lower leagues.

I cur­rently coach Rossendale in the North­ern Pre­mier Leagues hav­ing plied my trade at lev­els 1-6 in­clud­ing backs coach at Sale Sharks when we won Premier­ship and head coach at Vale of Lune in NW1 and all points in be­tween in­clud­ing head coach Eng­land Coun­ties and Lan­cashire.

The great­est as­set this game has are the play­ers and as the game gets more dif­fi­cult to play, these play­ers are be­com­ing fewer and fewer. Show them the re­spect they de­serve. MARK NEL­SON via email

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