Letter: 'Shamateurism' in rugby

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STEVE PILGRIM'S one-year ban from playing rugby union is a typical example of the double standards employed by the game's administrators ('An exile back on home ground', Sport, 28 August).

On the one hand it is deemed acceptable for top union players to be given new jobs, homes, cars and 'expenses'. Yet it is unacceptable for a rugby union player to play rugby league, whether or not he receives payment. Meanwhile there is no bar on other professional sportsmen (footballers, golfers) playing rugby union.

It is not surprising that the Wasps' leading players hold no prejudice against Steve Pilgrim. Most players recognise 'shamateurism' for what it is, and it is only the fear of vindictive reprisals that prevents them from naming names.

Paul Foster

London SW19