Intended for healthcare professionals

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Reviews Personal views

Rugby union should ban contested scrums

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 25 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1281

Rapid Response:

Personal experience

As a retired front row forward of over 30 years playing experience in
Wales and England I too never experienced, or witnessed, any type of
injury as described in the article. Again, from an early age I was taught
the correct positioning of my feet, legs, neck and back. Throughout my
amateur career I kept relatively fit and as a nurse never experienced any
back problems before the "no lifting" environment we have now. I firmly
beleive that my sport allowed me to lift correctly without putting any
undue strain on my back.

The scrum in rugby union allows players of different shapes (tall and
thin, fat and short) to participate in the game and to remove its
competeive edge would turn the game into one that would severely restrict
the attraction to many young people. Scrummaging was what I did well (in
fact I was very, very good at it) and what got me into many teams that
normally wouldn't have touiched me as I wasn't a speed merchant or
particularly good in open play. I hated uncontested scrums and I am sure
that if you polled front-row forwards they would say exactly the same. We
know the risks and are mindful of this when competing.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 May 2006
Robert W Standfield
NHS manager