Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: collision rugby, Neath, players welfare
I was very sad to hear this week that Neath scrum half Gareth Jones lost his battle to survive a horrendous neck injury suffered in a Welsh Premiership Game two months ago.
Thankfully serious injuries are very rare in rugby, but that does not diminish the sense of tragedy involved with this incident. No amount of words can make up for the loss felt by his family, friends and colleagues.
In the context of the game, we are all aware of the dangers of rugby as a contact sport. We have a duty as coaches to manage players’ welfare on and off the pitch. Where our role in this stops and starts is sometimes blurred. We can create a safe environment to practise. We can imbue our players with a sense of fair play on the field. But we cannot influence the random incidents which can lead to injuries, like awkward falls or mistimed tackles.
I am not going to change the way I coach. I am not going discourage players from playing the game. I will continue to emphasise that rugby is a balance between finding space and creating collisions. The collisions require bravery, skill and power. However, I will strengthen my resolve to coach the collision aspect of game better every time I train players.
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