The sharing of an eye-watering hit from a South African schoolboy match by former Saracens backrow Jacques Burger ignited a heated debate around concussion and player welfare on Twitter.
The Namibian international Burger tweeted a video of a brutal tackle from a Monument Boys versus Paarl Boys match in South Africa that was described as ‘sickening’ and ‘not ok at all’ by viewers.
Sam Peters, the UK journalist and concussion awareness advocate also took issue with the video, questioning if rugby as a sport should be taking pleasure in such incidents:
“Huge question for rugby and @Nabasboer do we celebrate seeing a child smashed head first into rock hard ground or search for ways to avoid? For what it’s worth, watching this makes me physically sick.”
Burger has responded to the criticism with some direct advice for parents whose children play rugby: “Tell your kids there is a good chance of injuries if they play rugby.”
He explained “that’s the reality” but implored those to work on their techniques in the interests of safety.
“Work on better/safer techniques so they can be smarter, well-prepared rugby players. Also, don’t forget to tell them to do their best and enjoy,” he wrote.
Tell your kids there is a good chance of injuries if they play rugby. That’s the reality. Work on better/safer techniques so they can be smarter,well prepared rugby players. Also don’t forget to tell them to do their best and enjoy.
— Jacques Burger (@Nabasboer) March 25, 2019
The criticism continued to flow towards Burger after the statement with one commentator asking for an apology.
“Just apologise for promoting a clearly illegal tackle as good?”
“How can a better technique stop someone flying in chest height off their feet knocking you out? I get what you are saying but you can’t prepare for that type of ‘tackle’” another wrote with reference to original tackle.
Scott Barrett ahead of the Hurricanes:
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