Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
OJO'S INSIDE LINE: Keeping the game unique
9:00am Saturday 20th October 2012 in Sport News
I CAUGHT up with former England prop Jeff Probyn at a sportsman’s dinner with former Liverpool footballer Jan Molby in Trowbridge on Tuesday.
It reminded me of why I love this sport. I hadn’t seen Jeff for a long time, but we were among the last two to leave.
I got into the rugby scene around the time that he was finishing his playing career but it was an interesting opportunity to catch up with someone with that experience and talk about the state of rugby as it is now.
We both agreed that it was a better game for it being professional now but that the governing bodies were missing a trick.
Every year, the sport evolves so much but, in their quest to satisfy new audiences, they have forgotten that rugby used to be a game for all shapes and sizes.
Now it appears to be becoming a sport for one size – namely very big.
You don’t want a situation where one size fits all.
There are aspects of the game which are unique, such as the lineout of the scrum but, with the different rules that have been brought in, especially to the latter area, you risk taking that contest away.
It’s not rugby league, and it never will be, but it’s worrying how things will turn out.
Hopefully, given that union has still only been professional for the best part of 20 years, these issues will be sorted out.
I’d like to make a quick mention of Exeter’s fantastic display in their narrow Heineken Cup defeat to champions Leinster last weekend.
Sure, the pool stages are still ‘shadow boxing’ for many teams but it was a superb effort by them in Dublin.
For years, I called them ‘little brother’ in relation to Bath, but they are going the right way about changing those perceptions.
- Let Steve know your thoughts via wiltshiretimes.co.uk or email@example.com