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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map