The National, Friday July 5th, 2013
OUR rugby union players need better support. It seems these days that injuries and the lack of specialised treatment is derailing and/or stalling the careers of our best talent.
But winning at all costs comes with a price and there have been a number of casualties of war that have put their bodies on the line and end up looking the worse for the wear.
What happens when they return and the administrators of the game, the PNG Rugby Football Union put these loyal men on the backburner.
Yes, it does make you think that if you represent your country and become a casualty you should be given the utmost attention in medical treatment and rehabilitation.
And there have a number of them in the likes of prop James Pomat, fullbacks Joe Kautu and Kwari Tau, prop Richard Pangkatana, flanker Juneless Makeu and lock Willie Petalie to name a few that were not given a fighting chance.
Some stop playing altogether to allow their injuries to heal, while others for the love of the game hobble back to the fray, but they were never the same.
Rugby fever is on again, we hear that a recent development tour of the Gold Coast had some casualties as well, leaving potential Pukpuk starters Desmond Korpok, Billy Torea and Ray Vagi under injury clouds.
If given more attention to these injuries, these three players may have still been given an opportunity to be fighting fit for selection.
We hope the PNGRFU has taken this area of responsibility into strong consideration and have covered their bases in the event that one of these young Pukpuks taking the field tomorrow in the Federation of Oceania Rugby Union (FORU) Cup opener does not end his career prematurely.
This is not a shot at the governing body to remind them of their administrative duties, just a friendly reminder to ensure our players don’t have to worry about paying the price for playing for your country…literally.