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If there should be any demands from health professionals, it should be for proper finance to conduct the necessary investigations. T he suspicion that the arguments are based as much on emotion as fact is naturally strengthened by the knowledge that the son of Allyson Pollock, the force behind this opposition, suffered a shattered cheekbone as a year-old a year after a broken leg that caused permanent damage.
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In the decade or so since, this professor has encountered people who have been paralysed, as well as families of children who have died. It is how the rugby authorities continue to address these understandable concerns which is important. The authorities have grasped the ticking time-bomb of head injuries, although there is still much to be done in the form of prevention and education, not just at the top end but, more pertinently, down through the age groups.
T his is all about cause and effect and the regulations can and surely will be changed. It is becoming clear that in this area, entertainment and safety go hand in hand. Union must sell itself as an attractive sport, not merely to watch but in which to participate and this is why this scaremongering should not be ignored. Rugby is not mathematics or literacy and while a certain amount of physical activity be non-negotiable for healthy students, it does not necessarily have to be with an oval ball. It can be fun to tackle and to learn the art of tackling; union would not be union without it.
But the game could be so much more if it reverted to being a pursuit in which contact was skilfully avoided rather than, in many instances, actively encouraged.
Is rugby too dangerous for school children?
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. The book features pioneering research into the true extent of school-level rugby injuries faced by children. Pollock says that her research has proven very controversial, provoking online abuse:.
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Pollock is a leading public health expert and has spent 10 years researching the injury rate in rugby at both professional and school level. Her findings have lead her to the conclusion that not enough is done to protect the well-being of children during games.
Tim Lewis, writing in the Observer , contrasts the story of Pollock's son Hamish with James Gray, a rugby mad 12 year who ended up in a wheelchair after sustaining injuries whilst playing rugby at school. Lewis notes that such injuries are surprisingly common.