This Year's Six Nations Championship Will Be Decided Through Injury.
Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times rugby union correspondent, recently included in his weekly columns the following update on his opinion of the eventual outcome of this year's Six Nations Tournament: an interesting assessment but a sensible choice in view of the problem currently facing the 15 a side code and, I believe, also the 13 a side game.
Insists Stphen: "It has become obvious that this year's Six Nations Championship will be decided through injury. If you count those who would have had a fighting chance of being in the team or the match squad, England are without 13 players, Ireland 10, Wales 11, six first choice forwards included. Scotland are hoping for some late recoveries, but there is doubt about five of their front row forwards. France are missing 11 key individuals." There is no doubt that serious injuries in both codes of rugby do appear to be more prevalent and that the size and strength of many of the players, especially in the forwards, are far greater than those of yesteryear -
Yes, today size and strength, and the changes in forward play in both codes, demand huge powerful athletic packs -
A big, powerful pack can be an intimidating outfit and can, in both codes but especially in Union, determine the outcome of a match .While the style of play from muscle laden forwards driving down the middle can, sadly, today lead to far more injuries to the players.
Ray French, January 2018