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Would you support ring fencing (with 12/13/14 teams) to help promote player welfare?

No - present system doesn't need changing
13 (21.3%)
No - change needed, but ring-fencing won't allow any better welfare
24 (39.3%)
Yes - but limited, with yearly Home/Away play-off for relegation/promotion
12 (19.7%)
Yes - H/A play-off only if Premiership team at bottom or Championship team top for 2 or 3 years
8 (13.1%)
Yes - but no play-offs
4 (6.6%)

Total Members Voted: 61

Author Topic: POLL:- Ring fencing as a way to enable better player welfare  (Read 718 times)

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  • Premier Member
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Re your third point, whilst bringing academy players into the first team would certainly help their development, surely that would increase the risk of injury, particularly in high contact positions like the front row? An academy prop playing against a seasoned veteran is surely at higher risk? We've certainly seen games where due to injury, academy players are brought in to cover, and can get injured as a result.


  • Gold Member
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I am not convinced that ring fencing is the only way to protect player welfare.  I think that there are far more creative options available that would also (probably) even out the Premiership.

Firstly, I would be in favour of increasing the Premiership to 14 teams and having a 2 up/2 down approach.

Secondly, I would scrap the Premiership trophy.  It is pointless as there are now only 12 teams in it and there is too much of an imbalance between clubs playing development squads and clubs playing their full strength squads.  Scrapping this cup will free up enough weekends to play the extra 4 premiership games needed.

Thirdly, I would introduce a mandatory number of games that each player needs to be rested for through the regular season (i.e. ignoring play-offs).  E.g. Each player would have to be rested for 8 games of the season.  This would help with player welfare and introduce an interesting dynamic to managing the squads.  I would introduce a simple penalty system along the lines of - each team who has not rested a player would be deducted 4 points per player/game at the end of the season.  I think that something along these lines would be transparent and easy to police.

I think that the third item would also help to get the academy players playing in the first team as, with injuries, international call-ups and rest days, most clubs will be short of players in key positions.  This would really give younger players the chance to step up and get regular game time.  But, the key point is that all clubs would be in the same position.  Also, the important thing is that all games are meaningful, no matter what the % of fringe players in the starting 15 is.

For the play-offs and Euro competitions, teams would be able to use their full complement of players.  The resting of key players would hopefully mean that English clubs have a slightly better chance at progressing through to the Euro cups finals.

[edited - spelling]

Most of the Prem Cup games are held during Test weekends. Even the final was the day after round 5 of the 6N. Playing Prem games on those weekends penalises teams with international players.

So now we’re trying to squeeze 4 more games into and overcrowded season.

For point 3, there is a required number of minutes for the England players. Otherwise what constitutes a game? 10 minutes of the bench is less tiring than a full 80 after all.

never sleep

  • Baa Baas Bench
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But, even if a player only plays for 10 minutes off the bench, the player is still prepared to play for the full match and does all the training for the full week.  Rested players get a chance to recover their bodies.

Clearly, my suggestion above would need work, but, what I am suggesting is that there are (in my opinion) alternatives to safeguarding players besides ring-fencing.

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