Sport International Rugby

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Games must go ahead to respect Paris victims

Published 17/11/2015 | 02:30

Bruce Craig - 'Distasteful'
Bruce Craig - 'Distasteful'

I'm sure I am not alone in finding the outpourings of Bruce Craig distasteful and badly out of place. According to the Bath chairman, he is in no doubt that "the (Bath v) Toulon match can't happen". His main concern is "player welfare" as in the possibility of three high-profile matches in a week allied to the integrity of two competitions.

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This is attempted point-scoring opportunism and the real target here is the international game and specifically the Six Nations with Mourad Boudjellal (Toulon owner) weighing in by suggesting one of the Six Nations weekends, with England and France forfeiting the players likely to be selected from the two clubs involved, as the only time to play.

Can we respectfully suggest that not only will the Bath/Toulon match happen but it will most definitely happen because it simply has to happen. Not for the sake of Bath, not for the sake of Toulon, not for the welfare of the players, not for the integrity of the competition but for the sake of civilised society in the western world and out of respect for so many lives so senselessly snuffed out in Paris.

The game must go on and life must go on. Otherwise the lunatics who have temporarily ripped the heart and soul out of the French capital will have succeeded in their horrendous mission.

The onus is on every one of us involved in rugby to ensure that, whatever it takes, those games postponed as a mark of respect will take place, irrespective of the inconvenience or degree of difficulty involved in rearranging them.

There is no alternative.

Irish Independent

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