Brumbies coach Andy Friend has told his team that anyone who feels unable to play against the Stormers this weekend will not be forced to do so. There’s a fantastic opportunity here for the global brotherhood of rugby to show some solidarity and I just hope that everyone rises to the occasion.
It would, to my mind, be absolutely tragic if the Brumbies, crippled through their grief for a team mate taken so tragically, were to suffer the additional ignominy of losing to the Stormers at home simply because they aren’t at full strength. I’m sure that whoever takes the field for the Brumbies on Saturday will be focused on the task at hand, but I agree that it’s the right thing to do to not force anyone to take the field if they don’t feel able to do so.
I’m struggling to work out what the appropriate response is from the Stormers, though. Should they come up against a severely depleted Brumbies outfit, should they take the points on offer and be thankful? Would that not be adding insult to injury? Hell, are the Stormers even able to beat a Brumbies B-team? If it weren’t for the fact that the Stormers only have a group of 24 players on tour anyway, I would suggest that they too should field a weakened team as a sign of solidarity – then again, they don’t have the option to weaken (or even strengthen) their team.
I know this is probably completely unreasonable, but I would advocate calling off the game and sharing the points, as a mark of respect to the memory of Shawn Mackay. What do you guys think?Tweet