Scotland call up Kalman as Low ruled out

 

According to latest figures compiled by what might be called the Rugby Football Union's health and safety team – Dr Simon Kemp, head of sports medicine at Twickenham is the man principally responsible for collating the statistics – the game is no more dangerous to life and limb now than it was a decade ago, despite the greater speed and dynamism of the people who play it for a living and the heavier collisions in every area of the field.

Try telling this to the Test coaches piecing together their squads for the Six Nations Championship, which is less than three weeks away.

Yesterday, the Scots called up the uncapped Glasgow prop Ed Kalman after Moray Low, one of their World Cup front-rowers, was ruled out of opening tranche of tournament matches with a knee injury.

At the same time, the Italians announced a 30-man squad in which their best back and current goal-kicker of choice, Mirco Bergamasco, was conspicuous by his absence.

Bergamasco had hoped to recover from shoulder surgery in time to play France in Paris – his home city for some time, thanks to his associations with both the Stade Français and Racing Metro clubs, but it seems he was whistling in the wind.

Wales, who are scheduled to show their hand tomorrow, will certainly be without the lock Luke Charteris, one of the stand-out players at the global gathering in New Zealand, for the entire tournament and may not see much of Alun Wyn Jones, another first-choice second-rower, either.

Ireland must do without the incapacitated Brian O'Driscoll and David Wallace – big losses in anyone's language – while England have concerns over Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Courtney Lawes, Louis Deacon and Tom Wood, although the latter is not thought to be a serious doubt for the opening game in Edinburgh a fortnight on Saturday.

Still, facts are facts. "Despite the perception that players are bigger, faster and stronger, there isn't any evidence that the injury rate has increased since 2002," said Kemp. "Although the studies before 2002 were not as comprehensive, there is some evidence that there was an increase between 1995 (the start of the professional era) and 2001. But the risk has now stabilised."

In practical terms, however, that risk remains real. Premiership clubs can expect to lose the equivalent of 1.9 players to a three-week injury after each and every game.

Akapusi Qera, the outstanding Fijian flanker, has signed a new two-year deal with Gloucester.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?