Scott Player (upper left) is the last of the breed. Apparently he brought his 'mask with him from team to team, as equipment companies stopped making them. Even that has now been outlawed.
Every once and a while I get tweaked by friends who favor European sports or Aussie rules or some such about all the equipment our boys wear. Now, don't get me wrong: I love rugby. But think of it this way: Imagine legendary All-Black Jonah Lomu or Wales' blindside flanker Colin Charvis.(Or just check out these helpful photos.) Now, imagine a couple of important rules changes: You don't need to wrap up. You don't need to play the ball. You don't need to return the player safely to the pitch. You may (and in fact are often encouraged to) leave your feet to make the hit. Finally, give every player on the pitch an eight-pound (or 128 ounces, or 3.6 kg) weapon to wear on his head.Anyway, here's the money quote from Shutdown Corner: