Letter: Gentleman's excuse me

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excuse me

From Mr G Power

Sir: In an age where rugby reaches forward to grasp the cold hand of change, which shakes the game in the direction of elitism, while the game becomes choked on the pitch, is it not time the "gentlemen's" game played the "gentlemen's" card? I am speaking of those who sacrifice much of their time to the game and rarely (until recently through professionalism) go rewarded.

Simon Brown, Harlequins' prop, who has been a stalwart in the team's dream start to the season, will no doubt return to second's rugby as soon as Jason Leonard is passed fit. His efforts will not go unrewarded - he will surely be praised at the end-of-season dinner! Simon Geoghegan, world- class winger, has only last week been promoted to Bath's first team.

I propose that all top division clubs be forced to make two non-injury related changes every week bar two weeks (to allow the full First XV team to play), therefore allowing at least two "seconds" players to display their abilities at the top-level.

Surely this would be advantageous to every top club, as players will be groomed for the future through invaluable experience. This reward for seconds players' efforts will be an incentive for everyone to push for a first-team place, while making matches more interesting for the spectator and the outcome less clear-cut.

Yours faithfully,