CRISIS TALKS: The ARU will hold a summit today after traumatic neck injuries to four schoolboy players in just over a month.
CRISIS TALKS: The ARU will hold a summit today after traumatic neck injuries to four schoolboy players in just over a month. Leeroy Todd

'It's a contact sport'- Gympie coaches have their say

Rugby Union: Gympie Hammers vice-president Paul Blackburn said the club was "mindful of junior player development" amid a rugby crisis.

Concerned Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle will oversee a summit meeting of the nine GPS schools today after traumatic neck injuries to four schoolboy players in just over a month.

"We are undertaking structured skill development and training to minimise the risk of injury," Blackburn said.

"The Hammers are very mindful of junior sports development and the need to keep players safe."

As the parents of the four schoolboys injured are demanding safer rugby for their kids, Blackburn said: "The Hammers look forward to seeing the outcome from the the ARU in relation to further improving our junior development.

"We currently have a under-16s/17 competition and any immediate changes from the ARU in relation to junior game management will be implemented.

"It is disappointing that kids have been injured and if there are any changes, I would hope the junior clubs are implementing those changes that minimise the risk of kids hurt."

Hammers under-16s/17 coach Torren Brennan said union was a contact sport but the club tried to minimise injury through correct tackle technique.

"You coach them and coach them but the players don't always get it right and it is just out of their hands. But it is a contact sport," Brennan said.

"Certain parts of the game have more force on the neck and spin but if the players have not trained or are experts in that field, we won't put them in that situation."