“You knew what you were getting into” – Andy Lynch weighs in on debate

Andy Lynch is six seasons removed from the game but even in 20 years or more he’ll still be remembered given his incredible longevity at the highest level.

Lynch finished his career in 2017 just two games shy of Kevin Sinfield for the most ever Super League appearances with 452, a figure that’s since been eclipsed by Saints’ skipper James Roby who sits on 468.

The former Castleford, Bradford and Hull FC man will have dished out and copped some knocks during his time, something he put down to a case of ‘swings and roundabouts’.

He spoke to Serious About Rugby League regarding the current concussion debate in the backdrop of a lawsuit against the RFL and the recent Sky Sports Round Table.

Addressing the ongoing lawsuit, which he confirmed he isn’t part of, he stated: “Everybody is different and has different reasons but it’s something that you rarely ever think about. I never thought about it when I played, it’s just part and parcel of the game.

“You knew what you were getting into but that said the guys who are doing it, I don’t know who they are, but it’s each to their own. They’ve got a reason for doing it. To me, I just knew it came with the game. You’re doing something for 20 years that you love doing so you can’t go wrong with that.”

That echoed the sentiment that former St Helens and then Canterbury Bulldogs’ legend James Graham argued for whilst at the Round Table discussion.

In response to comments from former Irish international, Tyrone McCarthy, who claimed players don’t know what they were getting involved with, Graham disagreed.

“I think deep down I did know, you can’t look at our sport like that. If someone said to you, ‘is this sport going to have detrimental effects down the line’, then you’ve got to say yeah.

“We’re in such a fortunate position in life and culture that perhaps we get to pick our poison. That said we can make it slightly safer and evolutionise it and bring in technology and continue to talk about it.”

Lynch and Graham had clearly been sharing notes as their thought process remained the same with Lynch reiterating the need for RFL care , whilst also urging the sport to keep it’s selling points of big hits and action.

“It’s all for the sport and the safety of the players, it’s tough anyway with the amount of games they play in and putting their bodies on the line every week. So they do need to be looked after in some sense which the RFL are doing at the moment and that’s great.

“I just don’t want it to get to the stage of rugby union where they’re changing all the tackle technique. People watch rugby league for the big shots, it used to be the shoulder charge but that’s gone, but you still need that physicality that people like and watch the game for. It attracts people.

“People can walk away happy when they do see a couple of big shots in a game. They’ve paid their money and that’s the entertainment they want to see. I know there’s the nice tries but big shots get the crowd going.”

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