Bruising encounters don’t bode well for future
Dread to think how rugby’s leading lights will fare in the decades to come after they put their bodies on the line time and time again as the modern game demands more and more physical intensity with each passing season.
Last weekend’s date with the fearsome All Blacks was a ferocious encounter with Irish management counting the cost of the home troops giving it their all for the cause against what, ultimately, is always going to be a superior force, at least when facing the might of the Kiwis.
A further update on the walking wounded will be known tomorrow. But what is already certain is Luke Fitzgerald, Rory Best and Rob Kearney all came off worse for wear and the trio are ruled out of Sunday’s final autumn series meeting with Argentina.
Fitzgerald sustained medial ligament damage to the left knee, though it’s a different knee injury to the one which kept him for most of the year. Best suffered a fractured cheekbone and will operated on today and both will be sidelined for at least six weeks.
Kearney should find out the extent of cartilage damage after surgery later this week, which obviously keeps him out of the Pumas encounter.
Ireland’s talisman and captain, Brian O’Driscoll, epitomises all that is good about the modern game in these parts. What the Leinster centre achieves on the pitch is nothing short of extraordinary as every time he takes his talent and bravery to the very limit.
A bruising of the shoulder was the latest injury sustained from the All Blacks game, which will seem little more than a scuff, considering BOD is teak-tough and renowned for his quick healing.
Of greater concern, however, is finding out how these warriors will hold up in the long term as the body must surely feel the effects of such bruising bust-ups later in life. There has to be pay back time and the only hope is these guys get to enjoy pain-free, more leisurely days after the time comes to hang up the boots.