There has been much grumbling this season about the readiness of referees to dish out yellow and, sometimes, red cards for dangerous tackles. Well, there will be many more such cards because rugby’s authorities recognize that the game has become too dangerous and is, consequently, on the verge of being itself endangered.

News from France this week makes the point. Nicolas Chauvin, a member of the Stade Francais youth team died after a heavy tackle in a match against the Bordeaux-Begles youth side. His neck was broken and he died on the operating table after suffering a cardiac arrest and brain damage owing to a lack of oxygen. He is the second French youth team player to be killed this season. The first three months ago, was Louis Fajfrowski of the Aurillacois club.