Sir: Mike Rowbottom (Rugby's wham, bam elan puts football to shame, 23 October) does well to contrast the reactions of football and rugby players to the physical challenges of their games. He suggests that the causes of the difference lie in the ethos of the games. He might equally have commented on the relative emotional maturities of the two sets of players. Closer to the truth than either is the fact that football is not in essence a physical contact sport, whereas the crunching tackle, man and ball, is the very heart of rugby.
For rugby spectators a legally-administered big hit is cathartic. The courage of the players demands a respect and admiration that even the most skilled footballers can never earn. It's a shame that rugby union is marred by stamping, scraping and incomprehensible rules.
That just leaves Rugby League, the greatest of all team games...
via e-mail from Northwich