I was interested to see that learning from American football is mentioned in the debate about making rugby more safe (your report, 21 September). The Americans had the sense to outlaw the “flying wedge” in the 1920s. We seem to regard the “rolling maul” as a highlight of our game.
How something that was regarded there as unacceptably dangerous with fewer players on the field is deemed acceptable here seems weird.
I have a picture from The Scotsman in 1953 of a wing forward about to tackle Graham Ross. Their combined weights would not equal that of many of today’s forwards.
This underlines the importance of bringing the rules up to date so that skill and enjoyment flourish and dirty play results in bans as opposed to yellow cards for “ill discipline”. A ban might cure the New Zealand players of “brain explosions” such as tripping opponents.