DJ Eberle is a student/athlete at Western New England University. He is an offensive tackle, built like his dad; a rugby Prop. Track him on Twitter @Ebstide52
ALBANY, NY – As it says above, I don’t [yet] play rugby – I actually play football. That doesn’t mean that rugby hasn’t played a role in my life because it had. My dad played rugby in college at the University of Buffalo, so the influence has been there my entire life. So, I can speak to the differences between the two games and today I am addressing the biggest difference that I see between the two sports; Football wears padding. Rugby does not. With all the concussion data coming from the NFL, this leads one to the ultimate question; Should rugby players wear some time of padding or protection?
For me, it’s an easy yes. I’m not saying rugby should add helmets, shoulder pads, a girdle – you know, the whole 9 yards. Instead, I think some type of padded helmet should be required for the sport – and a scrum cap doesn’t cut it. Look, I understand that the sport of rugby is a manly sport and one of brute sports in the world, but it is time to put safety first.
Concussions are very real when it comes to sports. Especially in such a violent sport like rugby. Football has a hard enough time already and we wear helmets. There are hundreds of lawsuits against the NFL right now because of flaws in safety standards in the sport. So you think it would just make sense for rugby to add a padded helmet of some sort? Something similar to helmets in football back in the day.
“(Rugby and football) are very similar, if not identical, in injuries; some studies show we have about five percent more, but others show we have less,” said Michael Keating, medical director of USA Rugby.
With Keating’s statement of how rugby has five percent more injuries according to some studies, you think it’d be in the best interest for the sport to become more protective. It just makes sense for rugby to try and become more protective as a sport… What do you guys think?