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Analysis and Comment (16)

Over the last year, around 200 per 100,000 Australian children suffered a blow to the head or face. Over the last year, around 200 per 100,000 Australian children suffered a blow to the head or face. Tom Childers

Preventing kids' concussion is about duty of care, not cotton wool

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries which cause the connections between brain cells to stretch or break. This can result in problems with attention, memory, balance, sleep, decision speed and…
The key, as so often in sport, is timing. The key, as so often in sport, is timing. Joe Castro/AAP Image

Aussie Rules rules thanks to the eight-hour working day

Why is AFL the main sport in Victoria and the other southern States while New South Wales and Queensland follow rugby? That’s long been a vexed question, but we may now be closer to an answer. In Melbourne…
It’s easy to make the game safer without significantly altering the collision aspect that makes rugby so attractive. It’s easy to make the game safer without significantly altering the collision aspect that makes rugby so attractive. AAP Image/David Crosling

Brute force: reducing the impact of rugby collisions

The legendary American Football coach Vince Lombardi once said “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport”. This is equally applicable to the various codes of…
Tackling a big issue. Tackling a big issue. Neil Marshman

We don’t listen to children when it comes to abuse in sport

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster has said she revealed details about sexual abuse by her coach when she was young in order to “break the taboo about abuse as a whole.” There are certainly issues within…
English and French clubs are sprinting away from the rest. English and French clubs are sprinting away from the rest. Joe Giddens/PA

A hooligan’s sport, played by gentlemen. But who owns rugby?

The Heineken Cup, European rugby union’s premier competition, faces an uncertain future. English clubs continue to woo teams from France and Wales into a rival competition, with promises of increased revenue…
The All Blacks' haka is culturally important for everyone in New Zealand. The All Blacks' haka is culturally important for everyone in New Zealand. AAP/AFP pool/Phil Water

All Blacks' proud tradition of the haka insulted in Rugby World Cup

RUGBY WORLD CUP – When New Zealand’s All Blacks take on France in the final tonight, they will be proud to perform a haka. They’ve taken some criticism for it in the past, but, as André Brett of the University…
Bryce Lawrence is one of the Rugby World Cup referees who has won few friends in the tournament. Bryce Lawrence is one of the Rugby World Cup referees who has won few friends in the tournament. AFP/Marty Melville

Rugby World Cup a lottery amid refereeing chaos

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The Wallabies may have the consolation of winning third place in tournament, but their progress has been far from controversial. The Rugby World Cup has been plagued by accusations of…
Wallabies player Drew Mitchell is taken from the field after an injury during Rugby World Cup match between Australia and Russia. Wallabies player Drew Mitchell is taken from the field after an injury during Rugby World Cup match between Australia and Russia. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Rugby World Cup injuries: That’s gotta hurt

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The Cup has already taken its toll on many players – finalists New Zealand have lost star player, Dan Carter and Australia goes into its battle for third place against Wales four men…
Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Business or pleasure? Ryan Tandy and the NRL take the fun out of rugby league

I’m a relatively well-disciplined guy. In my brief time in this world, I’ve managed to complete a degree, quit smoking, and exercise thirty-odd kilos of self-indulgence away. But if there’s a TV on in…
AFL and NRL clubs say they face financial losses if punters like this are forced into a pre-commitment scheme. AFL and NRL clubs say they face financial losses if punters like this are forced into a pre-commitment scheme. AAP

Playing the game: AFL, NRL and the campaign against the Wilkie pokie reforms

The Federal Government’s plan to introduce pre-commitment systems on pokie machines in order to reduce problem gambling has become a major political headache. A campaign by Clubs Australia targeting Labor…
All Black Richie McCaw has been accused of routinely cheating in his approach to the game. All Black Richie McCaw has been accused of routinely cheating in his approach to the game. AAP

Rugby World Cup: are cheats prospering?

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The athleticism of the players has impressed in this tournament, but is there a whiff of unsportsmanlike behaviour in the air? Brian Stoddart of La Trobe University investigates. A few…
New Zealand defeated Tonga in the opening game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. New Zealand defeated Tonga in the opening game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

Art or science? Decision-making in rugby

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the latest of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, former Wallabies player, James Holbeck and Professor of Sport Science at Victoria University, Damian Farrow, discuss…
New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing a Haka in Egypt in 1941. New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing a Haka in Egypt in 1941. AAP Image/Alexander Turnbull Library

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks, New Zealand Maori and the politics of the pitch

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the first of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, Massey University’s Malcolm Mulholland argues for the continuation of a Maori only rugby team. Around half of the All…
Rugby union’s potential demise has been greatly exaggerated. Rugby union’s potential demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Rugby union football in the 21st century: quo vadis?

Rumours of the demise of rugby union are a bit like those of Mark Twain’s “first” death - greatly exaggerated. The recent and sudden appearance of a hybrid rugby code ⎯ supported by Mark Ella and played…
Despite the success of the State of Origin, rugby league still lags behind the AFL in terms of popularity. Despite the success of the State of Origin, rugby league still lags behind the AFL in terms of popularity. AAP

How bad governance is holding rugby league back

The move to establish an independent commission to run rugby league is a long overdue acknowledgement that strong corporate governance is essential in the small but intensely competitive Australian market…