Bennett urges NRL to look at injuries
Wayne Bennett has questioned whether the NRL needs to look into why two stars in the space of a week have been forced to retire early due to shoulder injuries.
Less than a day after Sam Burgess, announced his exit from the game, Matt Gillett hung up the boots on Thursday with a career-ending shoulder issue.
Thirty-year-old Burgess signed off despite having three more years to run on his deal, while 31-year-old Gillett had another season remaining on his.
Bennett, currently in Auckland preparing for Great Britain's Test against New Zealand, has coached both players at NRL level.
"It's the most common injury at the moment that we've had. There's a lot of players having multiple operations on their shoulder," he said on Friday.
"Benji (Marshall) reminded me he's had five.
"He's still going but some of them don't.
"I think it's something to look at in the game, why so many of that type of injury is happening and why it's finishing guys' career a lot earlier than we all thought."
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga is hopeful the two successive retirements isn't indicative of an emerging trend.
Wests Tigers prop and former New Zealand representative Ben Matulino also called time on his career on Thursday but due to a knee injury.
Meninga insisted injuries have always been part of the game but also conceded it might be worth exploring if more preventative measures could be introduced.
"The players that play our game are bigger, faster, stronger. Maybe it's a technique thing. It's the nature of our game. Injuries are part of our game," he said.
"It's sad and tragic it's ended Sam's and Matt's careers early.
The game will look at that."
Kangaroos captain Boyd Cordner was disappointed for both Burgess and Gillett but said players were well aware their careers could be cut short.
"There is no hiding from it," he said.
"It is disappointing to see players like Sam, Matt having their careers ended. You'd like to think they would've liked to go our on their terms.
"We sign up for that. We know it's part of the sport. It's just unfortunate it's happened to two great players at the same time."
Immortal Andrew Johns suggested an increase in wrestling could be the reason and predicted more players could be forced to quit prematurely.
"The game isn't getting more physical but what it is, is that there's wrestling all week," Johns said on the Freddy and the Eighth podcast.
"They wrestle two to three times during the week and then on the field they're getting their heads and necks in positions where players have never had (their heads and necks) because of the wrestling and jiu-jitsu and all that rubbish.
"There's going to be more of it, definitely more of it."
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