“Structured season? Mor e like a sorry s h a mbl e s ”
ET’S GET to the point. Everyone knows that there is far too much top rugby, that the number of games is way past the danger level for exhaustion, burnout and injury. Everyone knows, but a serious number of people in various organisations find it inconvenient to admit it.
Easily the best measure – and, in fact, the only measure guaranteed to work – is to have fewer major games. You can tinker with laws
Lto reduce the silly number of heavy contacts, but fewer games in a structured season is the only way to go. It would be nice if the structure also allows every event to have a proper window, with real rest periods and a balance between the two hemispheres. Are you with me so far?
So, the structured season… It’s been mentioned frequently and avidly for years, and it has never been seen. It’s a bit like Captain Mainwaring’s wife in Dad’sArmy – in every plot but never revealed.
There have been three recent attempts at finding a structured season. In 2017, the rugby world was agog when the game’s stakeholders gathered in San Francisco to hammer one out. When the announcement was made, we found that effectively no progress had been made and no matter how they dressed it all up, everything was very much like it was before – over the top.
Two months ago, TheSunday Times revealed that senior World Rugby officials, led by the great