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The great

spectator scam

From Mr Simon J S Nicholls

Sir: With professionalism in rugby union increasing demands on players, and, I would imagine, ticket prices rising, isn't it time the RFU did something for spectators and made the game more entertaining?

Having watched Bristol v Gloucester, I feel spectators are in danger of being conned.The game was full of stoppages, with a whistle-happy referee. I got home to see the second half of the Wales v England rugby league semi-final, and it was terrific end-to-end entertainment.

Yours faithfully,



22 October

The youth dilemma

From Mr Andrew Barr

Sir: English rugby is suffering (1) because promising young players are unable to command a first-team place ("England's generation gap", 24 October); or (2) because the standard of competition is not high enough and fewer, better sides should be playing closer to international level more often.

But not both.

Yours sincerely,


London, NW6

25 October

League of gentlemen

From Mr Gavin Power

Sir: In an age where rugby reaches for change, is it not time the gentleman's game played the gentleman's card? I am speaking of those who sacrifice much of their time and rarely go rewarded. Simon Brown, a Harlequins stalwart, will no doubt return to the Seconds when Jason Leonard is fit.

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

Yours faithfully,



19 October

Blinkered boxers

From Mr Neil Billingham

Sir: Ken Jones' comments on boxers taking more responsibility for their health ("Administration called into question", 26 October) were well articulated but futile. When one fight can make or break a boxer's career and an aura of invincibility is almost a necessity for success, boxers will not take necessary precautions for fear of cutting short a rewarding career.

Yours sincerely,



26 October

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