Japan-bound Freddie Burns has launched a scathing attack on Premiership bosses for the brutal schedule player face when rugby returns.
“First and foremost we all want rugby to survive and we want to do what we can to make sure that in a couple of years’ time there is still a Premiership and that those clubs steeped in history are still around,” he said.
“But I am speaking out because the players are being penned in a corner. They have been trapped with pay cuts and now these rumours of seven games in 28 days.
Pay cuts aside. More stress on the body and higher risk of significant injury. I know we want the sport to survive this current crisis but what about player welfare. It’s hard enough to recover on a 6 day turnaround 🤷🏽♂️. https://t.co/4CYJxDP6Uw— Freddie Burns (@FreddieBurns) July 11, 2020
“It’s just madness. The physical toll on the body is going to be brutal. Player welfare is a term we hear a lot about but I don’t think it’s quite backed up by anyone in the game.
“Hard enough to recover on a six-day turnaround. Players just being bent over the barrel in my opinion.”
He added: “Many people in the world have lost their jobs. Are rugby players in the worst position imaginable? No they’re not. But they put their health on the line every week in a hugely physical game.
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“Everyone wants to see rugby back on the TV, clubs want the money coming back in and players understand this. They want to do what they can to get rugby back to where it was.
“No player is going to turn round and say they need a rest. But someone outside of the players has to be looking out for them and saying ‘hang about’ – and I don’t think anyone is.
“It’s just not right in my opinion. They’re taking money off the players and asking them to do more for less.”
This is the definitive Lions XV all the experts have picked to take on South Africa
We trawled through the predictions of 20 pundits and media outlets from across the UK and Ireland over the past year to see who was being tipped to make the starting XV to face the Springboks.
The results were revealing. Here’s how the Lions would line up…
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 13/20 selections
14. Liam Williams (Wales ) – 12/20
11. Jonny May (England) – 11/20
13. Jonathan Davies (Wales) – 10/20
12. Manu Tuilagi (England) – 16/20