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Old 08-12-20, 11:04 PM   #4641
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I don't really get Thompson's point. If it wasn't for rugby he wouldn't be anyone - it's pretty obvious that repeated blows to the head can't be good for you and there's a risk of issues when it comes to contact sports. He wasn't complaining when turning out week after week. Ban all contact sports then? Training methods need to be improved (and I'm sure they have) and perhaps introducing of regular MRIs etc.

It's not like there is usually any clear idea of it during a career, like Meldrick Taylor boxing on when he could hardly speak, the people renewing his licence should have been shot.
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Old 08-12-20, 11:18 PM   #4642
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He’s got early onset dementia at 42. You have to feel some sympathy at that. My mates dad has it (ex pro footballer) and it is a grim disease, slowly stripping away his personality.

I doubt he was briefed on this during his career. Or told that it was a risk. As the article shows there is not enough research yet.

Quote:
Dr Willie Stewart, who with his team at Glasgow University has been leading research around dementia in football, is confident there is an issue in rugby union.

"There is no question if you look at the data across all the sports in all the regions whether they be football, rugby, American football, I've looked at brains from people from all these different sports.

"The difficulty we have is gathering enough experience from former rugby players to be able to say with certainty, but I think you would be foolish to ignore it. "
It’s at the heart of the story of Bennet Omalu’s research. Ultimately the money involved in these games (Rugby, Football, NFL) means it is an unpalatable truth.
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Old 09-12-20, 12:32 AM   #4643
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Of course it's a bit rough, but we can't save the world. Well it's pretty obvious that selling brain damage isn't great among a target audience when trying to market a sport. I'll always go back to boxing, we've known about dementia pugilistica or 'punch drunk syndrome' for over a hundred years. 'CTE' is a new, more in depth term and research into thing.

No one talks about it, but everyone is very aware of it, doesn't seem to be stopping kids from boxing nor audiences watching it. Seeing that boxing is in a lucrative state with mass audiences, I'm not sure that rugby, football or any other sport will take a different route. Sure the heading at kids level etc is a start, but will anything really ever change?

Mentioned it in other threads, but I've read to death about it because of my family history (one grandmother had Alzheimer's and the other dementia) combined with several years of boxing in addition to heading footballs and a bad concussion from a cricket ball etc. I've accepted that if I can't speak in 10 years it'll possibly be because of my life choices - I don't think there's anything sinister in it, it's a byproduct. For me, all sports save and make far more lives than they damage.

I think it's important to look into what has happened in the past to make the future safer, but the horse has bolted. It's like obese people wanting to sue Coca-Cola for their obesity. Come on, it's pretty obvious consuming a shitload of sugar can't be good, no? If your ankle ligaments go a couple times, it's simple that there's an issue there. In similar fashion repeated concussions can't be good for the brain, can they? I know these diseases have really bad and inconsistent issues but he seems to remember the training sessions pretty well for someone who can't remember any games.
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Old 09-12-20, 11:01 AM   #4644
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I take your point, however, I dont 100% agree. He is not arguing about the rules of the game. Nor is he talking about match day.

He was a front row forward, so the number of collisions he had will be far more than any other player, for example he talks about them getting beasted on a day training for England and having to set 100 scrums in a session. As with all CTE it is the repitition rather than the one off. So the reality is that whilst match day is an area that receives attention and care, training isnt and that is where the damage is done.

Though it was obviously first considered in boxing, a heavy weight boxer doesnt train for a title fight by getting slugged 100 times on the chin. It is the sports where numerous repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries occur.

As with football, it is the frequency of the blow, and mainly in training. For example my mates Dad was a pro footballer in the 70's and he was a defender, so he would again head the ball in training sessions upwards of 100 times.

The duty of care that has been neglected has been to management of the load during training, and that is something that is only coming into play in Rugby just now where protecting the interests of the player and managing concussions and head injuries is now a focus.

The rub, really, is how far into affecting the end product of the game, do the governing bodies want to go to be able to protect both the spectacle and the players welfare. My son plays Rugby, and at 9 they have introduced tackling, so it is something I am keen to keep an eye on, as my desire to see him run in (or rumble over more likely) with the ball at Murrayfield is tempered by the physicality already on show.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:55 PM   #4645
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Michael Lipman: 'If I knew then what I know now, I'd have been a lot more careful'

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...t-more-careful

The former England flanker has mild dementia and probable CTE and says the memory lapses and mood swings may be hard for him, but are even harder for his wife Frances

Andy Bull
Wed 9 Dec 2020 06.00 GMT

It’s been two months since Michael Lipman was diagnosed with mild dementia, two weeks since he was diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He feels in limbo, wonders if what’s happening would make more sense if he was an old man. “I’d think I’d be like: ‘Yeah, OK,’ you know?” But he is only 40. He has no idea what the rest of his life is going to be like, and that scares him. So he’s doing what he can. “Taking exercise, trying to eat well, limiting alcohol, just try and treat yourself well, and keep your mind ticking over by doing crosswords and sudokus, studying, anything to help you train the brain.”

There are days when Lipman doesn’t want to get out of bed. “If you go outside you might embarrass yourself, might do something, or say something, that’s going to get you in trouble. I feel like your bedroom is your safe zone, you know? And when I’m in there no one can do anything to me.”


Alix Popham: ‘We knew our bodies would be in bits. We had no clue our brains were'

In his playing days, Lipman was full of life, “always out and about, always up and at them”. He was a busy, bustling openside flanker. Born in England, raised in Australia, he played for Bristol, Bath, and then went back to the Melbourne Rebels. He was good, too, played 10 times for England, and was a key player in the Bath team that won the Challenge Cup in 2008. Some people will remember him as the player who resigned from Bath when he got caught up in a drug-testing scandal. Others will remember, too, how much he gave to the club, that he was picked as the community player of the year because of all the work he did around town.

Lipman’s speech can be a little hesitant, and uncertain. Often he’ll pause while he’s searching for his words, and his wife, Frances, is there, off-screen, helping him through the interview. “I think you’ve noticed during this chat that my speech sometimes is quite inhibited,” he says. “It’s a real issue for me because I love having a chat.” There are other symptoms. “I’m irritable. Incredibly irritable. I’m impatient. Extremely impatient. And I get to a stage where I’m that frustrated where I just can’t handle certain things and I’ll walk out of the room. Then your mood swings go up and down like a bloody yo-yo, sometimes you go: ‘Oh I’m happy as hell,’ and then you’re as bloody down as anything.”

There is an old interview with Lipman from 2009, which he gave after he had suffered several concussions in a short space of time. In it, he says he had passed the mandatory cognitive tests, but still felt disorientated and after taking advice from a neurologist decided he should take some time off. He said then that he didn’t want to take a chance “not when the risks are of brain damage, memory loss, the shakes and all those sort of things”. He later admitted that around this time, two experts told him in private that he should retire. In the end, he played on for three more years. And now here he is.

If it’s hard for him, it’s harder for Frances. “You reckon it’s a daily battle for me? My God, it’s a daily battle for her. Some days I’m really good and then she remembers: ‘Yeah this is the man I love.’ And then there’s other times that are very testing. But the way she’s handling it is incredible. I couldn’t put up with me. No way.” I ask how long they have been together. “Five years,” he says, then corrects himself, “no, four years. And we’ve been married for – how long?” She tells him: “Three-and-a-half.” He’s embarrassed. “You see? I should get that right. Little things like that. I should know that, off the top of my head.”

When they met, he had finished playing and was working in real estate. She realises now that there were warning signs. He was having severe migraines, and they could not understand why. “We were just really confused for a long time,” Frances says. Because she hadn’t seen him play, it never really occurred to her that they might be linked to his rugby career. Then there were the mood swings. “I just never knew what person I was getting.” And his memory problems. He even forgot that she had already been married. “When Michael proposed to me I was still technically married to my ex, and I said: ‘I’ve really got to get my divorce in order now’ and he looked at me and said: ‘That’s really important information you should have told me earlier.’”

Frances remembers how she stared at him, that she could not understand why he didn’t remember such an important detail. She worried it was arrogance, “that I wasn’t important enough for him to listen to or remember things I would say”.

“There were all these little things,” Frances says, “and you couldn’t put your finger on any of them.” Then they got the diagnosis. “Now I’ve got a lot more understanding, and a lot more tolerance.” They have two children, a two-year-old and a nine-year-old. “The two-year-old is too young to understand, but my wife has had a chat with the nine-year-old about the mood swings,” he says. “She’s explained that it’s not personal, the impatience, the frustration. She’s very good at that, which helps. If my wife didn’t say anything, there would be arguments left, right, and centre.”

Outside of the house, there are. “There was an incident when Michael ended up going off at a local bartender,” Frances remembers. “It was very out of character, really embarrassing for the family, because we’d go there as a family all the time. And these are the little things we go through. And it’s really hard for Michael to talk about, because they’re not his proudest moments.” She starts to cry. “When we realised this was going to go public, we were so worried about how people were going to perceive Michael. His biggest fear is ‘people are going to think that I’m stupid or I’m dying’.”

But they keep talking, despite that, because they want to increase awareness about what they are going through, and help other families who might be suffering too. “Knowledge is power,” says Frances. “And if families of people who have played contact sport are able to recognise signs and symptoms, so they could maybe get help a lot earlier.” He agrees. “That’s the whole point,” he says. “We all love rugby, we all love sport. And ultimately we want our players to be safe. Or else they might not have a sport to play. And we want to keep our sport intact.”

He doesn’t regret his career, says he would do it all over if he could. “But if I knew then what I know now, in terms of how I’m feeling, and what my wife and family go through on a daily basis, I definitely would have been a hell of a lot more careful, and wouldn’t have done a lot of the things I did do. I wouldn’t have changed the way I played, but I certainly would have taken a lot more precautions than I did during my career. And I would have listened to my body a lot more than I did.”

Lipman remembers instances when he was concussed, and would find an excuse to go off to the blood bin “you’d get 10 minutes and that would help you” and then he’d go back on. “As a player, you’re not thinking straight, you’re always going to say: ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ I used to do it. You say whatever you need to say to get back on the field and help your friends. Because you’ve got a lot of adrenaline going, there’s a lot of pressure on yourself, and on the team, and you want to get back out there because that’s what you’re employed to do.” Ultimately, the players need to be protected from themselves, by administrators, coaches, medics, and the media.

By opening up about what he is going through, Lipman is doing his best to try and stop other players from making the same mistakes he did. He doesn’t say it, but you have to ask why the game was not able to do the same for him.
Another one for you, Buzzo. He's fucked imo, only going to deteriorate. Slightly off topic, but I advise you watch the Freddie Roach HBO documentary that came out around 10 years ago. It's pretty interesting and shows how he lives a functional life with Parkinson's. Can't remember exactly but he even speaks about having tremors and early signs in his early 20s and continuing fighting for 5 years more anyway.
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Old 09-12-20, 11:01 PM   #4646
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Another one for you, Buzzo. He's fucked imo, only going to deteriorate. Slightly off topic, but I advise you watch the Freddie Roach HBO documentary that came out around 10 years ago. It's pretty interesting and shows how he lives a functional life with Parkinson's. Can't remember exactly but he even speaks about having tremors and early signs in his early 20s and continuing fighting for 5 years more anyway.
You can only see it getting worse (as in more cases) if anything with finishers etc you are ensuring that fatigue is less of an issue so the hits are hard for 80 mins.

I see Lewis Moody and Ben Kay are talking about monitoring training and reducing the amount of collision. Looking into player welfare at training is a must. Though I expect there to be some major rule changes in the next 2 - 3 years. I think they will find a solution.

The good thing about Rugby though, is it is capable as a sport of morphing whilst keeping what we all love about the game to the fore, and I think they can do so here. You don’t want to remove that physicality but you do want to protect players heads and brains.

Cheers for the tip on the doc, I’ve actually got a feeling I just saw that this is on iPlayer here.
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Old 09-12-20, 11:06 PM   #4647
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Another story here. Interesting as it highlights the problem of the mentality required to get to the top (100% every tackle) but then illustrates the results in a young guy who at 40 should have a huge portion of his life to look forward to.

He has no memory of major events in his career.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55208227

Doctors say he has had 100,000 sub concussions in his time playing Rugby....
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Old 14-12-20, 06:12 PM   #4648
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Hmmmm - bloody Scotland
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Old 14-12-20, 07:58 PM   #4649
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Barely worth us showing up. Englands group may be more difficult than it would have been 15 years ago.

Zebo winding up Finn.

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Old 15-12-20, 09:32 PM   #4650
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Yeah, getting Japan is a bit unhelpful TBH, they're only going to keep improving (and probably assimilating more New Zealanders into their team )
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Old 15-12-20, 09:36 PM   #4651
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Incidentally, no CC chat lads?

English teams generally fared badly although some played weakened teams for various reasons. Mind you Bath didn't have that excuse

Sadly because of the very short format some have already said that having lost a game they're now giving up on the competition this year which is understandable but a bit crap for the viewing public.

Still it's a good thing for player welfare etc etc
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Old 15-12-20, 09:41 PM   #4652
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Oh and I thought Sam H-C was streets ahead of Maunder (again) Buzzo even though he only played about the last 20 mins of the game v Glasgow.

Baxter is a hugely astute bloke so I don't get why he can't see that SHC's core skills are infinitely better.

I suspect the fact that by all accounts Maunder's Dad was a bit of a Chiefs legend might have something to do with it. He might even have played with Baxter during his career.
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Old 15-12-20, 10:42 PM   #4653
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Sore one for Glasgow at the weekend. Absolutely batters by Exeter with old boys Gray and Hogg scoring try’s.

I see Adam Hastings is off to Gloucester and talk of a big bid for Duhan VDM to leave Edinburgh. The issue Scottish teams have is that when they improve as Glasgow did winning the pro-14 a few years ago and Edinburgh did in challenging then the better players will inevitably leave.

Glasgow have lost Russell, Gray, Hogg and Hastings all in the space of a couple of years.
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Old 15-12-20, 10:43 PM   #4654
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Oh and I thought Sam H-C was streets ahead of Maunder (again) Buzzo even though he only played about the last 20 mins of the game v Glasgow.

Baxter is a hugely astute bloke so I don't get why he can't see that SHC's core skills are infinitely better.

I suspect the fact that by all accounts Maunder's Dad was a bit of a Chiefs legend might have something to do with it. He might even have played with Baxter during his career.
Sam H-C got some international minutes in the end. He seems vastly under rated where ever he goes. I never see him putting a foot, or a boot wrong.
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Old 16-12-20, 08:58 PM   #4655
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Could already be the end of Chiefs reign as European champions:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55336916

Holders Exeter's Heineken Champions Cup match at Toulouse on Sunday has been cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak at the Chiefs.

Glasgow's home fixture against Lyon on Saturday has also been called off - because the Warriors played Exeter last weekend.

European bosses will now meet to decide the outcomes of the cancelled games.

It is envisaged that the matches cannot be rearranged because of fixture congestion.

A European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) statement said: "EPCR has been informed that a number of Exeter Chiefs players and staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

"In accordance with public health guidelines, the club will not be able to send a matchday squad to fulfil its Heineken Champions Cup round 2 fixture against Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday (20 December).

"The Pool B match is therefore cancelled."

Twenty Glasgow players are self-isolating after facing Exeter, and a Warriors statement said this, along with "an extensive injury list", meant it was "not safe" to play Saturday's game against Lyon.

The Glasgow statement added: "Glasgow Warriors will now turn its attention to mitigating any further risks to its squad to protect the upcoming 1872 Cup fixtures against Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro14."

When Fiji's recent Autumn Nations Cup fixtures were cancelled because of a coronavirus outbreak among the team, their opponents were awarded a 28-0 victory.

The Champions Cup is using a new, shortened format this year with each side only playing two others home and away in the group stages.

After that, the top four sides in each of two 12-team pools will advance to the quarter-finals, making bonus points and points difference even more important in the pool stage.

The EPCR statement continued: "As per its Covid-19 protocol, EPCR will convene match result resolution committees to determine the results of the cancelled matches and the decisions of the committees will be communicated as soon as practicable."
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Old 16-12-20, 09:00 PM   #4656
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Sam H-C got some international minutes in the end. He seems vastly under rated where ever he goes. I never see him putting a foot, or a boot wrong.
No he doesn't seem to. I know Price was playing for a team on the backfoot but technically I didn't see him at SH-C's level either.
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Old 20-12-20, 09:16 AM   #4657
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Some win for Munster yesterday - only the second side to beat Clermot away and they did it after being 19 points down
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Old 20-12-20, 11:12 AM   #4658
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Yeah I was pretty stunned when I saw that - terrific win.

And a good one for Edinburgh too; Sale had rested a few but they're a strong physical team and had a comfortable HT lead.
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Old 20-12-20, 01:08 PM   #4659
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Good win for Edinburgh for sure as we’ve been in horrible form.
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Old 11-01-21, 10:44 PM   #4660
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Both European tournaments have been suspended.

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Old 11-01-21, 11:35 PM   #4661
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Talk of the Lions tour being moved, cancelled or postponed too. Can't see it realistically being hosted in SA, there'll be no chance of crowds. Moving it to the UK also seems a bit of a strange one because the situation is the same or worse. I think they should do it in NZ, there are enough local British/Ireland and SA expats. And this obviously has nothing to do with the fact I just emigrated here last week .
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Old 14-01-21, 10:51 PM   #4662
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How did that happen - or rather why?

The emigration I mean not the Lions
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Old Yesterday, 12:05 AM   #4663
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How did that happen - or rather why?

The emigration I mean not the Lions
In a nutshell, was let go in July because of this COVID debacle. Had an okay(ish) package (not sure actually, you'd know more than me - I should have consulted you about it haha) plus 2 years worth of leave paid out, I was supposed to go to Europe on holiday in September, how naïve I was when i booked that trip.

Economy decimated, no job opportunities in SA. Coupled with insanely harsh/illogical lockdown rules (no booze, 9pm curfews, arresting people for not wearing masks while murderers run rampant etc) made continuing to live in SA near impossible. I swore that I would never live in a first world English speaking country again but had to go before my situation got dire. I've never been a poor man in Africa and I definitely don't want to know what that feels like. It's notoriously difficult to get into NZ now, but I found out I still have permanent residency which evidently didn't expire from when I used to live here. I could have also gone back to the UK or Australia but NZ seemed the only option because there is no COVID here. I'm still in my quarantine hotel, which the government pay for and I've already had 2 job interviews. It's a stark contrast.

Think I'll go mad here though, waking up at 3am to watch Liverpool play and the shitty people. I don't see South Africa getting better in the next few years, so I'm probably going to try to settle in Germany once this blows over.
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Old Yesterday, 11:01 PM   #4664
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In a nutshell, was let go in July because of this COVID debacle. Had an okay(ish) package (not sure actually, you'd know more than me - I should have consulted you about it haha) plus 2 years worth of leave paid out, I was supposed to go to Europe on holiday in September, how naïve I was when i booked that trip.

Economy decimated, no job opportunities in SA. Coupled with insanely harsh/illogical lockdown rules (no booze, 9pm curfews, arresting people for not wearing masks while murderers run rampant etc) made continuing to live in SA near impossible. I swore that I would never live in a first world English speaking country again but had to go before my situation got dire. I've never been a poor man in Africa and I definitely don't want to know what that feels like. It's notoriously difficult to get into NZ now, but I found out I still have permanent residency which evidently didn't expire from when I used to live here. I could have also gone back to the UK or Australia but NZ seemed the only option because there is no COVID here. I'm still in my quarantine hotel, which the government pay for and I've already had 2 job interviews. It's a stark contrast.

Think I'll go mad here though, waking up at 3am to watch Liverpool play and the shitty people. I don't see South Africa getting better in the next few years, so I'm probably going to try to settle in Germany once this blows over.

Ah this bit makes sense of it. I didn't realize you lived there before because as you say, I know it's a tough place to get in to.

Good luck mate.
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Old Yesterday, 11:34 PM   #4665
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Thanks bud. I've been rotating between Joburg, Sydney, London and Auckland for over 20 years - not sure why I do it to myself. Hence me thinking that I have a unique insight in comparing Southern Hem rugby/cricket stadiums.
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