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Life on the rugby scrapheap: 'You do feel partly disabled'

By Online Editors
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Ex-Ireland player Dan Tuohy shook the world of rugby last month with his headline-making claim that the sport is rotten to the core.


The 2014 Six Nations title winner believes that rugby is quickly becoming all about the top echelon with a poor deal for the levels that exist underneath it.

While England players are earning massive match fees for appearing for their country, leagues such as the Championship have had their central finding from the RFU cut, a development that doesn’t make sense to Tuohy.

“It’s starting to look as though rugby is all for the top echelon and not a great deal for underneath it,” he said to BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time programme.

“The England players are reported to be paid £25,000 a game win, lose or draw. Fair play to them for negotiating that contract but if that’ is leaving the RFU short and they are having to cut the money to other leagues, that doesn’t really seem fair to me. Fifty per cent of that England team actually plied their trade in the championship.”

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Tuohy currently finds himself on the rugby scrapheap following a career-ending injury in France that left him partially disabled.  

Playing for Vannes in the Pro D2 last September, the 34-year-old broke the humerus bone in his left arm and full function still hasn’t returned six months later, forcing him into retirement. 


“You do feel partly disabled to be fair,” he admitted. “I’m going bald so I cut my own hair but I couldn’t cut my own hair with my left hand because I couldn’t hold the razor.

“So I was missing a big patch on the back of my head that my wife had to do. I couldn’t hold a fork in my left hand and cut my food properly. It’s just silly stuff that you don’t think of.

“But I’ve seen horrific nerve damage that some people have suffered so in the grand scheme of things, what I have is not too bad.”

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