Former Rugby Football Union director of Professional Rugby, Rob Andrew has sent a warning out to his former employees that Premiership players could go on strike following proposals were made to extend the 2019/20 season by an extra month.
The proposal has already meet stern opposition from players and clubs alike over the durability of players over what already is an extremely long season for the top players with domestic and European competition on top of the Internationals and tours! When asked, Rob Andrew explained
” what’s giving in is the players bodies, it’s not sustainable long term, something will give and eventually if the players decide not to turn out, then there isn't much of a product.”
By increasing the length of the playing season, players would lose out on vital Pre-season work which is designed to prepare the players both mentally and physically for the months ahead. This again as meet with vast opposition from leading coach’s with player welfare at the top of the list!
With the ever increasing pressure on the world’s top players, this proposal could see a number of players taking things into their own hands, with the ideas of a player strike being thrown around the media, What can be said is that some players would rather see the season shorten in order to give their bodies more recovery time, with British lions, England and Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola, who is currently out recovering from a knee injury admitting he would be happy to take a pay cut in order to play less rugby.
In addition to Vunipola’s admission, the current Premiership stats seem to agree with the players as we are barely 6 weeks into the new season and 10 out of the 12 premiership side are reporting a combined 82 first team players out injured, with Wasps top of that list having 15 first team players side lined at the beginning of October, which is equal to a full starting team.