Cheating in rugby is inevitable, says Johnson
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England team manager Martin Johnson believes cheating in rugby union is inevitable because it is human nature to do whatever it takes to win.
The sport was rocked by the recent ‘Bloodgate’ scandal in which Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards told one of his stars to fake a blood injury during a European Cup match to allow another player to come back on as a substitute.
Johnson told the Global Sport Summit in London: “How did we get there with the faking of the blood injury and Harlequins and Dean Richards?
“You get to a situation where the law gets abused slightly and people get away with it and they do it a little bit more and a little bit more.
“The pressure is always there and that’s self-induced and people want to be competitive – ‘are my competitors doing it and getting away with it? Maybe we’ll push the boundaries that little bit more’.
“You have referees on the field for a reason, because people will try and push things further – that’s human nature.”
Johnson does not believe that the financial rewards of success in the relatively new era of professional rugby are a greater incentive to cheat.
“We all live in a competitive world and whether money is involved or not, it’s the will to win,” he said.
“Did things happen like that when rugby was amateur? Of course it did.”© AAP 2013
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