The Monday Morning Quote #525

We’ve all seen talented young players who get to a certain level but there comes a time when talent will only take you so far.

The great players go away and work on extra things. They work harder on their skills. They start having early nights and they think about their diet and training.

That is what takes them to the next level.

Warren Gatland

Why I’m glad my son doesn’t play the game that I love.

As the 6 Nations reaches its climax it’s time to look hard at the real problem of head injuries.

Rugby players more likely than not to sustain a concussion after 25 matches in a season.

Concussion is one of the biggest problems facing both rugby union and league. Rates of the traumatic brain injury in rugby union have been rising since the 2012/13 season, going from one concussion every 3.2 matches, to one concussion every 1.2 matches in the 2015/16 season.

It has become such a problem that we have now found players are more likely than not to sustain a concussion after 25 matches in a single season. This rate – which came from an analysis of the 2015/16 rugby union data – was three times higher than the second most frequent injury, thigh haematoma (“dead leg”).

Full article HERE

 

We had shown resilience and proven that so much in performance is about belonging and purpose.

We had shown resilience and proven that so much in performance is about belonging and purpose.

Like I said, it was a surreal weekend; in a city driven by opulence and materialism there were a bunch of boys from the Fijian villages, some who had no family homes to go back to, happier than any of those high-rollers on the Strip.

Ben Ryan on Las Vegas and the Fijian 7s

The Monday Morning Quote #422

As The British & Irish Lions start their tour of New Zealand…..

“Rugby has always been a game for all shapes and sizes.

You have the superstars and the fast guys who score the tries, but you also need the workhorses and the people who play all the other roles.

Unless they all work together as a team then it’s really going to affect the performance. Everyone’s got to rely on everyone else.”

Warren Gatland

As the new rugby season kicks off – “Find us a freak – and cheap”

“Fears and revelations of a top rugby agent”

“It’s definitely a game of how big can we get them, how quickly, and let’s see if they can cope – otherwise, we’ll move them on.”

‘Find us a freak – and cheap”

‘Almost every player is not 100%’

Sean Longstaff was a winger who played for Scotland, retired through injury and now works as an agent. This article highlights a lot (but by no means all) that is bad with the modern game of rugby union.

Growing up in Wales my sporting heroes were the men who turned out at Cardiff Arms Park, Wales of course for a handful of games a year and Cardiff RFC. Half backs were all less than 6 foot, Gareth Edwards was 5’8” and 13st 4lbs, Phil Bennett 5’7″ and 11st 4lbs even the “big backs” weren’t, centre Ray Gravell was the same height and weight as I am now. The tallest forwards were 6’3″ to 6’5″ and weighed in at a maximum of 16st.

Professionalism and generational changes mean that people are bigger and can become bigger still.

Then came Murdoch.

More than a decade ago Barnes and the rest of the Sky TV boys started to worship at the altar of “hard yards and big hits”. I was secretly glad that my son, at that time a tall but very light teenager who had been “clothes lined”, or tackled around the head and neck (an injury from which he still has symptoms), in a school game said that he was giving up the game.

Apologists will say that it’s a man’s game – it clearly isn’t only as the growing standards of women’s rugby will testify – or that if you can’t stand the heat etc. Old rugby farts will tell you that it never did them any harm – meet some burned out, punch drunk, front row forwards who clearly have taken a dozen blows too many and they are clearly wrong.

The incidences and consequences of concussion are only just starting to be seen. These are sportsmen not gladiators, yes the ones at the top get paid very well for what is a short career but does a free market benefit the game? Will we move to a situation like the NFL where the game is only played at pro and college level? I do hope not.

If you’re rugby fan this is worth a read.

BBC website here.

how to get bigger for rugbyi

Dewi Sant…

893a1cab-ae3b-4838-a1b4-ce13f17ee017March 1st is the feast day of St. David, Dewi Sant, patron saint of Wales. He was born in 500 and died in 589. His mother is reputed to have been a niece of King Arthur who was seduced or raped by his father and later became a nun. During David’s birth, by the sea near St David’s, her fingers left marks where she grasped the rocks and as David was born a bolt of lightning from heaven struck the rock and split it in two.

It is known that he was baptised Saint Elvis of Munster, no doubt a great influencer of the boys from Craggy Island.

It is said that St David’s last words were, “Be joyful, keep your faith and do the little things in life”.

He was buried in St David’s but in 1284, following Edward I’s conquest of Wales, the English king took David’s head and arms and displayed them in London.

…and every two years, or more, his followers come seeking revenge.

 

Jonah Lomu – R.I.P.

Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40. Blessed with an amazing physique, great hands, balance and speed, he was a one-off a man who changed the parameters of the game of rugby union. A rare kidney illness, which had been diagnosed before his entry on the world stage in 1995, and reduced his performance in 1999, forced his retirement at the age of 27. As shy and quiet a man off the field as he was ruthless on it, he said that he didn’t perform at any more than 80% because of his illness.

I saw him play against Scotland in the 1999 World Cup when he lit up a miserable, wet, October night in Edinburgh. Much was made of his size but he was the real all round deal, a great rugby player with all the skills that I have listed above and more. Judge for yourself, here are all his international tries (none against Wales).

His last appearances in public were during the recent World Cup in England where he was an ambassador for rugby even whilst undergoing 4-6 hours of dialysis every day.

Rest in peace big man.

Here he is in a flash mob Haka in Covent Garden:

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