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Small no longer beautiful in top class rugby

On a weekend of Heineken hell, all four Irish provinces were defeated in the Heineken Cup.

All were reasonably good performances against formidable opposition, but there is no hiding the structural flaws in Irish rugby: We were bullied up front in each match. We simply don’t breed forwards big and powerful enough.

Who knows whether this is a steroidal deficiency or a genetic inheritance, but it is clear that small is no longer beautiful in top class rugby. Short of eugenics programme or importing a boatload of Polynesian, Argentinean or South African behemoths, it is not clear what the solution is, but there is only so much that smaller, smarter, and more nimble players can achieve in the modern game.

Matches are decided by referees giving penalties to teams whose scrum is deemed to be trundling forward and by high kicks followed up by marauding beasts.

Anyone got any 6 foot 10 inch, 20 stone muscle-bound monsters in their extended global family?

Frank Schnittger


Co Wicklow


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