BMJ 2 Jun 2007 Vol 334

Well, blessed are the peacemakers, we must say of Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley, even if they took their time about it. In the meantime, a lot of people in Northern Ireland have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of terrorism and civil disorder. One of them comes to see me almost every week, in the middle of sleepiest England. He is having cognitive therapy, and it is helping, as it did in this randomised trial, but he is still frequently in tears. There are experiences from which people do not heal, which are taking place all over the world even as you read this.

Ah, the mud and the panting, the opportunity for close contact with large sweaty Welshmen, the bath-house jollities, the constant risk of head injury or paraplegia; I don’t know how I have managed to resist the delights of rugby union football all my adult life. Apparently the New Zealanders have devised a system for preventing injuries called RugbySmart, and using the infallible methodology called before-and-after, this study concludes that it works. I’m not quite sure, however, why it is flagged up on the front cover of the BMJ rather than appearing in a supplement of the Antipodean Journal of Sports Studies.