In his latest column for The Telegraph, the former England star Austin Healey outlines his concerns that cheating is threatening to destroy the game of rugby or as he describes it, “petty, underhanded cheating.”
From naming Mike Brown at fullback for his Lions Test XV against the All Blacks (even though Brown wasn’t in the squad) to claiming Ireland can win the 2019 World Cup, Healey always stirs up a debate.
Ref cam 📽
Saia Fainga’a slaps Donncha O’Callaghan after the Worcester player pulled his hair 😳 pic.twitter.com/7ZsmJQ2ioz
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 22, 2017
Healey cites various examples which we have seen recently. Donncha O’Callaghan’s dramatic reaction to being on the receiving end of an open-handed slap from Saia Fainga’a after the Irishman pulled at his dreadlocks and Remi Tales of Racing 92 also milking a reaction when Ellis Genge made contact with the Frenchman’s throat are examples he uses of a team trying their best to milk a penalty.
“Priorities are changing within rugby. Winning a penalty has become an end in itself.” wrote Healey
“When there’s an opposition player on your side of the ruck, you are taught to clear them out the way as quickly as possible to get quick ball for your scrum-half.
“Now you are more likely to see that player deliberately held in place to milk the penalty.”
Read his full article in The Telegraph,