RPA Statement on Proposed Changes to the Premiership Season Structure

We recently met with Premiership Rugby to discuss the proposals to extend the domestic season by one month from 2020.

At the meeting we echoed the fundamental concerns expressed publicly by several leading players, including our Chairman, Christian Day, around any potential physical and psychological impact on player welfare. We negotiated hard with Premiership Rugby to agree a guaranteed 5-week rest period for players following the regular season and summer tours, and the RPA Players Board’s position on giving players sufficient rest and recuperation around a well-structured off-season remains sacrosanct. Over the past few weeks we have been canvassing the views of our members and will continue to do so as discussions continue. We are also in consultation with industry experts in the fields of sports science, physical conditioning and mental well-being. We have the utmost faith in the quality and integrity of strength and conditioning experts operating in the domestic and international game in England, and their feedback will be crucial in objectively shaping any season structure changes. These changes must be approved by the Professional Game Board and through the Professional Game Agreement.

There will be no further comment from the RPA on this matter while this consultation process is ongoing. Notes to Editors: As part of a regular season England players will continue to have, as a minimum, a 10-week off-season in the summer for rest and preparation prior to the first weekend of the Premiership Rugby season.