As a little lad in the 60’s I was brought up on the spectacle of rugby that was London Welsh. Great games, great excitement and very often thumping rugby. All washed down with a barrel or two after the game.
In those days, players were amateurs, they played for love of the game and also with respect for the opposition. Captains were not laden with press conferences to worry about, but they did undertake one very important and noble duty.
If and when an opposition player was injured, the captain would trot over to him to express concern, and in most instances would wish him well. On those rare occasions when someone had to leave the field, he would be applauded off by both sides as well as the crowd.
Yesterday at the Millennium Stadium Thom Evans received a very nasty injury that forced him to leave the field and be taken to hospital for neck surgery. Whilst he was being attended to, the Welsh team appeared to take no interest in his plight, and the Welsh captain did not make an effort to check on him. Shame on them all.
Being “professional” does not excuse anyone from showing respect to injured individuals and I hope that we see some shift back to old values again soon.