Geordan Murphy makes u-turn on rugby ‘PC’ comments

Leicester’s interim head coach Geordan Murphy has rowed back on comments he made about rugby becoming “too PC”.

The former Ireland star said he regrets his comments about an incident which saw Will Spencer sent off for a high tackle against Wasps.

On reflection, Murphy believes the discussion around the red card and his subsequent comments could be a “watershed moment” for how head injuries are dealt with.

“In the heat of the moment, and as a young head coach with no experience of that [TV interview] situation, I shot my mouth a little bit when I needed to sit back and absorb a few things,” Murphy told The Telegraph.

It might seem that I was taking a head injury lightly and that is not me in any way. Nor is it as a club at Leicester. We are united and want to be best with head injuries. Stats will show that.

“I felt that my comments might have belittled the laws and that was not my intention. We all have to accept the bigger picture.

“Rugby has changed and for the better. It could well be a watershed moment.”

Following rule changes by World Rugby, any challenge to the head is now an automatic red card, with the aim of reducing injuries and concussions.

“It’s a big statement from World Rugby,” Murphy added. “The statistics show that that tackle is the one that is more likely to lead to concussion.

The change is a really good policy - the bodies who make it are not changing rules for the sake of changing rules, they are doing it for player safety.

“We’re on board with that and hopefully we can just see that consistency across the board in all Premiership matches and in all decisions. So when we see contact with the head, okay, it’s an easy decision.

“I’ve had messages from both sides of the debate. I think it’s going to be influential across the game, people are going to talk about it, World Rugby are going to send pictures out about it. Hopefully it will make for a safer game.”

Leicester will accept Spencer’s four-week ban as “the letter of the law”, Murphy added.

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