Sir, - The Irish rugby fraternity must come to terms with the fundamental reasons causing its decline at international level, particularly in recent years.

At Lansdowne Road the final whistle blew and the Italians walked away as champions. It was an injury to Irish players and their supporters. How does one tackle this conundrum?

Should basic ball skills be adopted seriously at all levels of the game and by every member of a team? Should a different structure be fostered instead of the current one, in order to provide better performance throughout the sport?

It is evident that passion rugby belongs with the past, seldom wins competitions, proves unreliable and unpredictable. The stress should be placed on technique, not passion played in isolation. - Yours, etc.,

Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4.