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"It's turning into football"| Dan Tuohy on professional rugby



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Dan Tuohy has lamented the adverse effects of professionalism in the game of rugby when he spoke to Off The Ball this week.

Referee Nigel Owens went viral when he declared "this is not soccer" to Tobias Botes when the Treviso scrum-half was being too vocal.

However, recently retired former Ireland international second-row Dan Tuohy says the game of professional rugby is now "turning into football." It wasn't a compliment.

Tuohy was lamenting an emerging scattergun hire and fire culture that is prevalent across many professional sports but has relatively recently become a feature in rugby.

"Many professionals from coaches to players to support staff who are losing their jobs right at the end of the season. They are only being told by letter, told in a quick shotgun type meeting.

"They are not allowed to prepare for it, they are not allowed to think about other jobs. It's turning into football.

"There's that much money in the game you can just hire and fire as quick as you like."

Social

Tuohy says the traditional social aspects of the game, that he fell in love with, such as having a post-match beer with teammates are disappearing.

However, being professional and trusting players to are not mutually exclusive concepts to former Ireland international lock and in his experience, trusting players can bear fruit in a professional sporting environment.

"The teams that are doing it best (the social aspect) are some of the most successful.

"Sometimes you demonise that pressure of players letting them be themselves, and when you give them that responsibility and treat them like adults it repays the coaching staff tenfold."

The former Ulster player, while conceding that he may have been one of the louder members of the changing room, believes treating players like adults is a better philosophy rather than attempting to control every aspect of their life.

"Throughout my career, I have been treated like a child, I have also been treated like an adult.

"When I was treated like an adult, I had much more respect for the person that treated me like an adult. I certainly think they got a better buy-in from me as a player and as an athlete."

Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.

Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.


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