BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 3 star

Is Cohen justified in walking out?

English club rugby Northampton
comment on the article

England World Cup winner Ben Cohen has walked out on Northampton after being overlooked for the club captaincy.

The 28-year-old winger has not attended training since losing out to Bruce Reihana for the role last Wednesday.

Does Cohen have a point or should Saints stick with Reihana, who was captain last season?

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Sep 26, 2007

Wally speaks out on Cohen:

From Northampton Chronicle on Tuesday

Wally: Ben's decision about much more than captaincy

Saints legend Steve Thompson believes Ben Cohen's reasons for leaving Franklin's Gardens run much deeper than the captaincy issue.
And the former England hooker says the club's statement that Cohen left because he was overlooked for the captaincy is just a smokescreen and that he had been unhappy at the way the club was going for some time.

Cohen leaves Saints like fellow homegrown World Cup winner Thompson under a cloud and 29-year-old Wally, who was forced to retire with a neck injury last season, feels it is symptomatic of a club more interested in money than repaying its loyal players.

Saints yesterday announced that Cohen had bought himself out of the last year of his contract and had officially left.

The winger had not been to training since, the club says, not being made captain days before the start of the season.

Thompson said: "That's the spin the club are putting on it it is just a smokescreen. Sometimes people want to go into a working environment they like and enjoy and clearly Ben didn't like his working environment anymore. It's his own decision.

"It is sad for everybody involved when a player like Ben leaves the club, but it's been on the cards for a while.

"Ben has been a loyal servant at Saints and will probably go down as one of the club's greats. He has probably been the club's most consistent player for the past 10 years.

"We have all said before about the changes at the club, it has changed a lot and perhaps it's best for both sides that Ben moves on and finds a new challenge.

"There are no real local lads left anymore, apart from Digger (Paul Diggin), but when money becomes the be all and end all then loyalty goes out of the window.

"But you look at some of the other clubs like Wasps and they stay loyal to their players. People like Joe Worsley, Simon Shaw are still there, but me, Ben and Daws (Matt Dawson) all left Saints and you wonder why?"

After winning the World Cup Cohen turned down a big money move to Leicester to remain loyal with Saints and Thompson revealed he rejected an offer from Wasps.

Cohen signed a new three-year deal with Saints, but instead of seeing the club progress on the field it slipped behind ending with relegation last season.

"It has been a hard three years for everybody involved with the club," said Thompson. "We had offers, I had one from Wasps and other clubs, but we were homegrown lads and we decided we wanted to stay with the club.

"I've seen some of the stuff on the internet and to accuse Ben of being disloyal is ridiculous. Over the year he has hardly missed a game because of injury."

Speculation will continue as to where Cohen will continue his playing career, but Thompson, who is now a consultant for French Top 14 side Brive, reckons his old mate will have other things on his mind.

"His twins were due yesterday," said Thompson. "Sometimes things happen for a reason and all this means he will have time to spend with his family. I haven't spoken to him about where he is going."

Leicester Tigers refused to comment on speculation linking Cohen to a move to Welford Road last week and rugby league side Harlequins have also been reportedly interested in signing him.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Nov 6, 2007

Hi, I've just returned to the UK and this is my first opertunity to put forward an idea from the World Cup. I was aware of the number of colapses of the scrum, and thought that it would be a good idea if the Ref put the ball ( point up) on the ground and then the scrum to form over it. On the Ref's command the scrum could start to shove. Instead of the non offending side putting the ball into the scrum, they would be allowed an extra player in the scrum. In my mind, this would make the scrums a bit safer.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 30, 2008

i thort he was older than 28,why is he not in the england squad?i presumed he must be to old but hes not,is he just off form cos he was 1st choice in 2003 wc

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 21, 2008


add comment | complain about this comment

posted Mar 27, 2008

Ben who?

Well if Wales had not illegally picked Shane Howarth as well as others in the first place then perhaps Ben would have known which Shane the question was about.

Really sad that it attracted so much poison from Wales!

My hunch is that he'll be back for England as he is regularly selected as one the best performers in France.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2008


add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2008

I'm sorry but I don't think soooooooooooo !

Why don't you ask the WRU for confirmation on that as far as dates are concerned?

Also - why didn't the IRB take stronger action on that - i.e. playing ineligible players?

After all, it fined the RFU for allowing the English clubs to play the Swansea and Cardiff in rugby games, even though no court of law would have condoned any action to prevent sports clubs from playing each other !

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 30, 2008

Brehaving like a spoilt kis isn't he.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 17, 2009

Ben who?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 25, 2009

Yes I know - quite a few Bens were in that world cup winning team after all !!!!

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 29.41%
    5 votes
  • 4 11.76%
    2 votes
  • 3 11.76%
    2 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1 47.06%
    8 votes

average rating:
2.76 from 17 votes