SIX NATIONS

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Just a reminder for supporters. Second round of the Six Nations to-day, Sat. 14th. England v Italy and Ireland v France, BBC 1.

Watch it while you can. I've read that the BBCTV rights might be sold to Sky. Money talks.

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I have the impression that we supporters are in a minority of the Forum's membership!

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Yes, I wondered why I felt so lonely. I thought my recent past might be catching up with me.

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Well a deserved and big win but a shaky start and some messy play against a tough determined Italy. England will have to play better next weekend. Good to see Cipriani back after 7 years!! And a try to boot!

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Yes, seven wasted years but, he has only himself to blame. I think that he brings more than a touch of magic to his play.

Good to see one of my favourites, Mike Brown on his feet and ok.

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Quite agree about Cipriani and I thought his own low key reaction to his try very pointed. Quins is my team so I'm especially relieved about Mike Brown.

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Not a sport I really follow but its nice to see England doing well.

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Keep an eye out then Paul because they have a good chance of the Six Nations Championship and a good chance of meeting New Zealand in the final of the World Cup here in September!

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CH

I don't whether you saw anything of the Ireland/France game yesterday ? Jonny Sexton had just returned to the side after a 12 week layoff with suspected concussion. He was then involved with Bastereau in an accidental collision of heads and left the field.

My question is: Do you think that the use of head protection should be widely publicised, linked perhaps to a reduction of insurance premiums rather than compulsion ?

I see many more players wearing these items than was formerly the case. Since my playing days, players have become so much bigger and heavier. The Italian flyhalf, yes flyhalf, is 6' 3" and weighs 17 stones !

Jonny Sexton, the Irish flyhalf, is himself around 6' 2" and weighs 14 stones plus. Giants, all of 'em.

I'm just concerned about head protection not the kind of all around protection enjoyed by participants in American football.

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What's the purpose of those oblong "blocks" on the back of the Irish shirts, roughly between the shoulder-blades? Didn't see anything similar on the French shirts, and haven't seen any other games/teams.

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John - an interesting thought. The officials are certainly more aware now than at any time in the game's history of the problem of head injury. As you rightly say the sheer physical size and strength of today's players are resulting in an ever increasing injury list to every part of the body. The rugby playing Charlie of 50 years ago would not get near a decent club team these days.

I am sure something had to be done and it may not be long before we see every player head protected compulsorily.

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What's the purpose of those oblong "blocks" on the back of the Irish shirts, roughly between the shoulder-blades? Didn't see anything similar on the French shirts, and haven't seen any other games/teams.

I don't know the answer to that one. I'm surprised that I havent noticed anything. When next I see then play, I'll have a good look.

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What are people's views of the Scotland v Wales game, I thought that Scotland were a bit unlucky with some of the referee decisions, particularly the disallowed try. It was however an exciting game to watch.

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Yes, an exciting game. Scotland's pack certainly delivered the goods in no uncertain terms ! Given their ability, I can't quite get to grips with Scotland's lack of success.

I too, thought that the disallowed try was a bit harsh. What about Stuart Hogg ? He's a bit extra ! An asset to any side.

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I was away all day and have yet to watch it but the general consensus appears to be that despite some pretty poor refereeing the loss was on balance the justified outcome. With such a large proportion of the national side playing together for Glasgow their lack of success is surprising and Cotter is a good coach.

Hogg and Laidlaw have always impressed and Laidlaw has been a real asset to Gloucester this season.

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It'll be between Ireland and England then this year.

Scotland are carrying on with losing games that they could be winning...one suspects that they'll start enjoying a change of fortune soon, especially with a good coach such as Cotter now at the helm...

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Probably - again! And as most pundits forecast, which is why next weekend's match is crucial. Will it be a Championship or a Slam win this year?

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Here we go - hostage to fortune ! I believe that England have the edge by, probably, a converted try.

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Me too - but by a penalty.

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This applies to watching from the touchline, or the stands or TV. Having played for a few years and watched for far longer, I know a few of the rules/laws of rugger but not most of them.

I can't very often understand what prompted the referee to take the action that he did. When play is obvious and I can see that some infringment has been committed, that's ok.

Perhaps it would be useful for TV commentators for example; Brian Moore or Jonathan Davies to explain the rugby offence and the reason for the referee's action and decision. Perhaps they themselves do not know or, cannot properly see if play is obscured.

I think that this measure, if adopted, would do much to help those who are interested supporters of rugby to come to a better understanding of what is happening on the field. It would certainly help me and I've been watching rugby for fifty years !

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I am under the distinct impression that Moore, at least, already does exactly that much of the time.