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GAA Rule Seen As Solution To Rugby's "Too PC" Controversies

GAA Rule Seen As Solution To Rugby's "Too PC" Controversies
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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All sports must wrestle with the tension between entertainment and player safety, although striking this balance is only an existential concern in a handful of them. Rugby can count itself among that handful, and the fallout to Geordan Murphy's "too pc" comments last weekend is indicative of that.

To bring you up to date: Will Spencer of Murphy's Leicester side was given a straight red card for a high tackle. Murphy was furious at the decision, saying that the incident shows that "rugby's too PC". These comments stirred outrage, and days later Murphy walked back on his comments.

In heat of the moment, and as a young head coach with no experience of that (TV interview) situation, I shot my mouth a little bit when I needed to sit back and absorb a few things.

It might seem that I was taking a head injury lightly and that is not me in any way. Nor is it as a club at Leicester. We are united and want to be best with head injuries. Stats will show that.

The debate has persisted in England all week: should accidental collisions really be penalised with a red card?


The Guardian's Robert Kitson has looked to Gaelic football for a solution.

The time has come for referees to be issued with a black card for use at their discretion in the event of non-intentional, dangerous or reckless blows to the head or when an aerial challenge is mistimed.

The player would still leave the field for the rest of the game but a substitute would be permitted. Serious foul play or abusing the referee would continue to merit a red but more margin for error would exist for all.

Something has to change to heal modern rugby’s increasingly split personality.

This has been loosely endorsed by Saracens' Director of Rugby, Mark McCall.


Player welfare is unbelievably important. Whether red cards are the solution I’m not sure. It’s difficult because we don’t want head injuries in the game. I just so often feel that a red card should be really, really obvious to everybody and that’s probably changing at the moment.

I understand all the issues and I don’t have any big solutions other than is there a way of punishing it in a different way that does change the behaviour of that particular player but doesn’t necessarily result in 15 against 14 every match because I don’t think anybody necessarily wants that.

The GAA are not only beginning to finally be more receptive to 'foreign sports'...now they are indirectly fixing them too.


[the Guardian]

See Also: Watch: Conway & Carbery Work Their Magic For 2 Rapid Munster Tries

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