OVER recent days at least six schoolboy rugby players in Munster have been taken to hospital as it was feared they might have suffered head injuries playing in cup competitions.
Thankfully, in all six cases, those fears were unfounded and none of the young men were seriously hurt.
In recent years rugby has worked hard to change the culture of the game.
Casual violence is no longer tolerated.
Rules have been changed to better protect players.
The change in the rules around the tackle, moving them away from the head area, are the latest example of this.
A growing awareness of the lifelong consequences of concussion was the driving force but this new emphasis on safety is very welcome.
Nevertheless, is it possible that more might be done, especially at underage grades?
Is it worth considering making protective headwear mandatory for at least some positions?
This is not a novel idea as it is obligatory for hurlers to wear a helmet now.
Rugby is a great game with admirable values and anything that secures its place in our culture, and especially in our schools, is worth considering.
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