Jones:Rugby is being ‘over-sanitised’

Michael Jones has openly defended the fierce, hard-hitting tackling that epitomises the Western Samoan brand of rugby.

He justified his argument, saying tackles made by the likes of World Cup veteran Brian Lima were in fact not always as dangerous as they seemed.

“Traditionally, Samoans hit hard with a lot of impact. Bodies are flying but the collisions often look far worse than they are. There’s no malice in a lot of our tackling,” Jones told Reuters on Friday.

Jones said that the restrictions on tackling in Rugby Union put the future of the game in jeopardy, as many players would lose interest.

“You’ve got to take the brutality out of the game and I’m all for that but there is a danger of it being ‘over-sanitised’,” said the All Black legend.

Jones added that if were playing rugby in the modern era, he would have in likelihood switched to Rugby League, where players have more freedom to play their game.

“It’s getting to the point where I’d think about telling my son to go play Rugby League. It’s getting to the point where I might well have opted to play Rugby League myself,” said Jones.

Jones added that the Samoans couldn’t change their tackling methods, as it was a was a part of who they were and that trying to change Lima, especially at this stage in his career, would be futile.

“We trust him, he’s been playing this game longer than most of us have.

“I’m not going to change his tackling at this stage,” added the Samoan coach.

Lima has made at least two contraversial tackles in the World Cup thus far, the latest being inflicted on Jonny Wilkinson in the clash against England on Saturday.

“We are having to change our style, to tone it down a bit. It goes against the grain. This is part of our DNA, we are wired to tackle hard, but you just can’t afford to now.,” admitted Jones.

On both occasions Lima was penalised, and if they persist with their contraversial tackles, the islanders will continue to be penalised-eliminating any prospects of causing World Cup upsets.

 

365 Digital

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