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British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Forum: British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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How Can Wn Have..........

...............got so far into the 6 nations without some mention here???

Re: How Can Wn Have..........

When I have a recurrence of finger trouble, I usually look to see if I can find an excuse. Have I simply hit the key next to the one I wanted? If I have I can let myself off with only a slight (and wholly metaphorical) rap on the knuckles but how can I explain spelling "we" as "wn"?

That's finger trouble of an entirely different kind.

Anyhow I was hoping to raise the whole question of rugby. Each week I go to our local rugby club, Liverpool St Helens which exemplifies some of the problems. We manage to run three adult teams and an under 18 side and there are 2 other similar clubs in the town each with a varying number of junior sides. It's clear that the future is unclear. There are no schools turning out sides, at varying ages, each Saturday and that used to provide a steady influx of players each year.

Clubs like ours are entirely amateur, but running them is very costly and we are paupers. At the same time we see a pro game which is immensely rich. Each international stadium could be filled several times over; each match commands huge television revenues. Some of the money raised goes to regional development officers. I quote below from an article written by Ray French, our President who works tirelessly to keep the club going.

“Why then, despite the honest endeavours of the many RU Development Officers who organise all manner of events and efforts to attract youngsters to the sport, are the amateur clubs in many areas of the country going in to extinction or losing up to half of the teams they once fielded, with the consequent loss of revenue to support the finances for the very existence of the club? Why are more and more ex-players, especially in their Twenties, now often playing more games on a mobile phone than on a rugby pitch? And I am led to believe that the problem is not only confined to rugby union, but also to rugby league, cricket, and amateur football”

Re: How Can Wn Have..........

Ray writes thoughtful articles which go in the programme and on the website and I've always taken his thoughts very seriously since he played for England (Rugby Union) and Great Britain (Rugby League). These are his comments on the problem which is facing soccer, rugby, American football and boxing - although some people are being very careful to turn a blind eye since there are huge financial stakes involved - I mean concussion and long lasting brain damage:

"The major problem regarding any increase in serious injuries is surely the change of rules in both codes in recent years which have led to the superiority of the physical approach rather than the skilful approach. I played my international rugby union in the second row of the England pack at 6’ 3” and 15st.8lbs – at that height and weight today I would be a candidate for stand off or centre. I would certainly not be in the pack where, in the current Rugby Union World Cup we have 20st plus props as the norm, 18st and 6’10” second rows, and 17st backrowers pushing, jumping, and mauling against each other. In League we have muscled behemoths charging at each other at great pace from a mere 10 metres mark. With such players indulging in such activities for eighty minutes and putting “Hits” on each other with far greater force than ever done in past years it is little wonder there should be concern for their well being.

If we want to protect young and old rugby players then we must not tinker with any remedies but must look closely at the changes in the rules in recent years which have brought about the injuries which are giving concern both during and after a playing career."