International Rugby Players has welcomed a “ground-breaking” development that will see three and four-day match turnarounds removed from the next Rugby World Cup.
Represented by its recent appointees to the Rugby World Cup board, Brian O’Driscoll and Melodie Robinson, the global players body promoted the need for rest periods to be extended in light of the ever-increasing physical demands in the game.
Conversations with Rugby World Cup led to a schedule that will now see a minimum of five days’ rest between matches at the pinnacle event, resulting in player welfare benefits as well as greater competition integrity.
“This is a very positive move for the game and one which has been endorsed by all our member player associations from across the globe,” said International Rugby Players CEO, Omar Hassanein.
“I also applaud all Rugby World Cup board members and World Rugby management for supporting this move and for adapting the schedule accordingly.”
International Rugby Players welcomes the development that will see 3&4 day match turnarounds removed from Rugby World Cup.— InternationalRugbyPlayers (@IntRugbyPlayers) February 22, 2021
Read more: https://t.co/3q1JSalnph
Our appointee to @rugbyworldcup board, @BrianODriscoll says it's a boost for player welfare and emerging nations: pic.twitter.com/pysOQljob2
Former Lions and Irish captain O’Driscoll said: “The game has become too physical and competitive for short turnarounds. All teams have found it tough, particularly those without the squad depth of the major nations. This is a positive step forward for the game and further demonstration of how International Rugby Players and World Rugby can work together towards better outcomes”.
Broadcaster and former New Zealand Black Ferns captain, Robinson said: “This is a fairer deal for all players at the showpiece event in our sport. It should increase competitiveness and result in a better tournament for players and fans.”
The 2023 Rugby World Cup schedule will be announced by World Rugby later this week.
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