Injuries take their toll
Rugby doesn’t have the luxury of deep reserves.
Rugby is not for those whose stomachs cannot take the unforgiving nature of the injuries incurred.
A war where fresh reserves of soldiers are thrown on to the front line to take their share of bullets is one thing, but rugby does not have the luxury of millions of reserves waiting to die on behalf of their country. There is no conscription and the show must go on regardless of the cost.
A lot has been written about the length of the rugby season and how many matches can be squeezed into a season that should only be four months long. A season stretching from February to August is nearly half the year and encroaches on the summer season.
Commercialism has taken root and players have become supplement-injected commodities. Guinea pigs would be a better description.
Whether expanding the number of South African Super Rugby teams is a good thing is a moot point – the uncompromising nature of southern hemisphere rugby will otherwise become even more brutal.
It can only get worse for all our teams and, with no central contracts, the SA Rugby Union has no say in what the unions do with their players when they are not on national duty.
If there was a comfort zone for teams in terms of a no promotion-relegation play-off, there would be the opportunity for player rotation and keeping important players fresh.
Human instinct will always kick in when survival is at stake and, unfortunately, a dog-eat-dog culture could emerge if teams have to fight for their right to stay alive in Super Rugby.
Players will find themselves not recovering sufficiently and being thrown to the dogs.
One can only feel sorry for them.
For physiotherapists, it will be time to rake in the profits, but at the cost of human flesh and blood.