Ireland V France, the injuries

Sir, – On Saturday we witnessed our very own French-Irish St Valentine’s Day massacre – in the name of sport.

Has the game of rugby become so technical that an incident, involving Rory Best tripping his opponent twice, should result in a sin-binning whilst the Mathieu Bastareaud-Jonathan Sexton clashes were legitimate?

Players are paying too high a price to represent their country. What will their physical condition be at retirement?

Head injury assessment and guidelines have improved but spinal injuries are too serious a consequence of bad tackles. – Yours, etc, MARY DUNDON Glenageary, Co Dublin.


Sir, – Mick Kearney, the Irish team manager ("Ireland hope to have six of the best back for France") is quoted as saying the following: "Rory Best suffered concussion. He has been very well since the game and is completing a gradual return-to-play protocol". [He sustained a head injury against Italy in the opening match.]

On the IRFU website is its guide to concussion which states: “Minimum rest period post-concussion: 14 days. Minimum time-out: 21 days. Graduated return to play: 6 days”.

Maybe it’s just me, but reconciling the word “minimum” and seeing Rory Best pummel head-first into countless rucks on Saturday begs the need for clarity. – Yours, etc, RORY O’CARROLL Woodlands, Stillorgan, Co Dublin.