Sports Letter: Need for action against violence

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The Independent Online
Sir: Sixty years' playing and watching rugby make me wish violence on the field was taken seriously. Rugby should be enjoyable for all concerned, but recent protests against the All Blacks' version of the game, and various inter-club concerns about foul play, all point to a warning.

Unless steps are taken by those responsible, including the Rugby Football Union, it will only be a matter of time before there is an incident that will involve permanent injury, and another that will be fatal. Death by rugby would cause intense sorrow, frantic ruling, hand-wringing by authority, and cynicism from those who condone cruelty.

The remedy is complex; but it starts with responsible people, players, referees, touch-judges, officials and spectators, recognising that there is violence here, and that it will lead to death unless punished, and outlawed before it is too late.

Yours,

JOHN BRACKENBURY

Ashford, Kent

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