Former England hooker Brian Moore has suggested a possible change to help reduce the alarming rise in Aviva Premiership injuries this season.
In his weekly podcast on the Daily Telegraph website, Moore said: “Part of the problem must be the impact of multiple substitutes. When you can train players to play for limited periods you can accentuate power and size, with the attendant injury risks.
“Add to this the fact that some players have to play a full game and are unavoidably tired, you have a physical imbalance that cannot be good.
“If, as I and may others strongly suspect, this theory has validity, the reversal of the current laws on substitutions would have extensive consequences; some good; some less so.
“The principle effect would be to reduce injury but also to alter the fitness and physique of players. Forced to play for 80 minutes, they would have to do more aerobic work and carry less bulk.
“It would also allow teams to profit from work done earlier in games to wear down opponents. With tiring defences comes space and errors and with that scoring opportunities.
“Players will no doubt say that they cannot be expected to perform at current physical levels for full games but the point is that they inevitably would not be able to and as everyone was in the same position there would be no added injury risk.
“The current laws ensure they face the risk of imbalanced physical risk.
“Such a change would reduce squad sizes and club costs but also reduce the opportunities to play professional rugby. There are no easy answers but this is a problem that rugby is going to have to face whether it likes it or not.”