While our esteemed editor is bringing the message of rugby to Uganda, here are a few other stories that have piqued my interest in the last week that you may well wish to share your views on…
Thomas Supports Abuse Fine
Ex-Union Welsh star Gareth Thomas gave his reaction to the news that Castleford Tigers were hit with a £40,000 fine for their fans hurling gay abuse from the stands towards him. Thomas has commented that ‘it has sent an amazing message to sport in general’. Refreshingly, the nature of the fine is such that it will make a dent in Castleford’s pocket and ensure that the club and no doubt the fans, will do their best to curb this behaviour. So often we hear of fines in football that are drops in the ocean compared to the money players are paid or that the clubs turn over. This amount has been equated to a league player’s annual salary – a clear signal of intent that other sports could do well to follow. Do you think it was a suitable punishment? How much homophobia do you still think exists within our game?
Ban Scrums in School
Following a study of 190 rugby games, an expert has recommended that scrums should be banned in school rugby. Professor Allyson Pollock registered 37 injuries with 20 going to A&E in the games played in five different schools. The study, due to be published in the Journal of Public Health says that the sport is ‘not safe enough for schoolchildren and not enough is being done to protect the safety of children’. Do you think enough is done to promote the safety aspects of the sport? Is this typical modern ‘mollycoddling’?
And finally, Barry Everitt has announced his retirement from the game. The leading points scorer in 2001/2 has spent the last three seasons with Northampton Saints and was previously with London Irish where he made 169 appearances, scoring 1762 points. He is moving on to become Director of Sport at Cranmore Prep school for boys. What did you think of him? Did Ireland overlook his talents?