‘Long game’ is vital for player welfare
In thIs month’s lovingly-assembled special edition, ‘the 50 most Influential people in rugby’, we had the unenviable yet fascinating task of ranking the men and women who shape our game. We formulated a list that is sure to inform, educate and spark debate among our readers – see who made the cut on pages 47-83.
One realisation that sprouted from our research is that no single person serves as a focal point in the fight for player welfare. sure, in each union and domestic league there are individuals who spend their time supporting the players, but those strands aren’t pulled together by an all-powerful figure who has the political clout to protect the very people who drive our game.
recently I spoke to a professional player who commenced a gruelling pre-season at the end of June, barely weeks after the sweat had dried on his forehead from an arduous season.
then there’s the top 14, where the ‘off-season’ is somewhat ironic. the players of toulon and racing 92 were playing a few days shy of July and start again in mid-August. Incroyable.
With the global season very much on the agenda, self-interest and financial rewards should give way to altruism and playing the ‘long game’, otherwise we will see more enforced retirements and serious injuries. Without players, we have no game.
enjoy the issue.
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