INTERNATIONAL RUGBY UNION – THE SPORTS SCIENCES, THE LAW, THE SHOW, and THE BUSINESS

“A BIG POINT ABOUT FAIRNESS” (this quality used to be… a great personal trait. To be ‘fair’ no matter what position you held in the Rugby Supply Chain was a matter of honour, today? psssss

Let’s go straight to the point so we do not waste any time from young players, senior players, older Wallabies, etc. and in the meantime the commentators ‘get-it’.

  1. The referees are operating under instructions from their peers, and the Board of World Rugby! Any other option will be plain ‘insanity’
  2. First true problem – The Laws and its colloquial language are NON-SPECIFIC and INADEQUATE!
  3. In ‘my book’ written in 50 years with rugby, a TACKLE must be done: A) with two arms out first; B) tackler’s head may be the second point of contact with the ball carrier; C) the tackler’s shoulders may or may not make contact with the ball carrier. This is what I call a Green Action (Green card, play on); D) ATTN: No Ball = NO tackle; E) a fair and legal TACKLE must be done ONLY from under the arm pits, to the ankles; F) any other actions (a la M. Koroibete and other hundreds of players charging with their shoulders, this is an illegal ‘Red Action’ SHOULDER CHARGE (hence Red Card)
iss-forum.net

Now here comes the question of ‘fairness’ to Law & Sciences. The player who is suspected to be hurt, MUST BE TAKEN OFF for at least 7-10 days observation, whether or not, that is considered a Thespian act. No Body can ‘guess’ or ‘assert’ a player is right to go back to the field (NEVER). We need to respect and thank the sciences! – No body can diagnose concussion of TBI without a minimum of 7-10 days observation. Furthermore, there may be aggravating and compounding factors (for one, head knocks from 5-10-15- or 20 years before!). The Spina Chord may also be compromised…

# Can you imagine your son experiencing DEMENTIA, DEPRESSION at 30 years of age?

#And/or suicidal impulses? (quite often round-the-corner)

# What about you, ex-sportsperson, and your family? How would they deal with your dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s’ in your mid-fifties?

# How about being quadriplegic or hemiplegic (it comes with the territory because your neck is next to your head, the spine gets compromised FIRST!

# What if you do not have enough Superannuation to retire at that age?

GRIM PROSPECTS, AREN’T THEY?

SO DO WE ACCEPT THIS NON-SENSICAL CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR OF RED ‘SHOULDER CHARGES’ AND ‘CLEAN-OUTS’? GET REAL, THAT WAS NEVER A PART OF RUGBY, WHICH IS HARD ENOUGH WITHOUT IT!

Furthermore, a lot of women play rugby today, and most of them want to play men-like. What a great example for those prospective mums to follow. In tennis at Wimbledon women play best of three, why? Go you figure (BTW, it is not about the prize money…

Shall I continue? Fellow men and women, lovers of rugby or just weekend-voyeurs, we all must evolve with the times. Professional (paid) rugby has brought an intensity in preparation which defies The Laws, The Participants and The Sciences. In the last 26 years players have grown or ‘increased’ size, weight, speed, power close to 25%. Speed + Body Mass (from both sides, increase all risks of haematomas, broken bones (including the spine), etc.

Professional Sports by the hand of TV, social media, sponsors JVC partners, and spectators are using athletes NAPPY-LIKE. Use and when they ‘smelly’ or older discard it! – Is this fair to you?

Administrators have the Budgeted Projections on the likely ‘Revenue & Expenses’ (Profit & Loss). They most of the time get informed by financial controllers, insurance companies and Lawyers about the court cases against them progressing and an estimate of legal costs and… COMPENSATION PAY OUTS. Ask Mr V’landys, Sir Beaumont, Mr Gilpin, and any lead of any sport? – Yet, they are managing public perception and building ‘the Case’ for when they will have to front u in courts against a multi-million dollar class action case! – Are they doing enough to prevent injuries? I honestly don’t know! You go and ask the hard questions…

Then, you may (if a bit of common sense prevails) understand it. And for the pundits, start being positive supporting of these Preventative Actions already instituted (and more to come). Having a microphone or a TV camera up your mouth doesn’t mean you have to throw grenades to all and sundry. Support the Game – the Show – and – the Business that pays you handsomely, even though you have no qualifications to talk about most of the subjects, you choose to talk about!

If you want me to do a longer dissertation, I could very easily start talking about ‘Life after TBI, “Presence or absence of TAU”, GLIA, ADN, COMORBIDITY, ASTROCYTES, MYELIN, or OLIGDENDROCYTES.

Thanks for reading this far and please promise you will revise your own “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, and entertainment expectations. We need to do a lot of work in AUDITING and MODERNISING rugby up to 2021-2031. This must be done in a harmonised scrum-like formation All pushing – None pulling!

Enrique TOPO Rodriguez

Wallaby Captain 1987, Founder and Convener ISSF (iss-forum.net), Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre Certificate on TBI (University of Tasmania (July 2021).

(And a very concerned ex-rugby international (1971-1992)

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