Sports Letters: Rugby rewards

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The Independent Online
Sir: After reading the thoughts of the former rugby union player, Scott Gibbs, on the topic of amateur players' professionalism, I was inspired to write my very first letter to a newspaper.

How come it is common knowledge (not hearsay) that players receive inducements from clubs, even in the lower divisions of the Welsh and English leagues, among 99 per cent of players, committees and supporters of this amateur game? Yet those who are supposed to be in charge, the governing bodies, who seek to defend its amateur status and all it stands for, end up telling silly untruths whenever the topic is mentioned. This charade has gone on long enough.

I would like to read that a sensible scheme for rewarding players has been agreed by the clubs and players, and that those who wish to play the 13-a-side game may return to the slightly more crowded rugby union field whenever they would like to. It seems pointless involving the governing body: if they don't know what's going on now, they never will.

Yours faithfully,

P A VAN BLOCK

Lichfield, Staffordshire

5 August

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