With England’s players returning from South Africa with their tail between their legs, our thoughts turn to the seemingly age-old debate regarding the current structure of the season. Planning an International tour before the regular club season is actually over seems ridiculous to me – some players are not able to play due to club commitments, whilst others are exhausted from having too many matches.
The RFU’s Way Forward is a much anticipated review of the game. I urge you to give your views by completing a questionnaire – click on the link to open a new browser.
My preference would be to introduce central contracts for England players, giving the RFU some control over how many games they play without having to wrangle with the clubs for their time. This should be introduced with caution, however – we do not want a situation like cricket, where the England players hardly ever play for their counties.
This system works well in Australia, but for the RFU to implement it, a review of the club game is needed as well. Lessons could be learnt from Ireland, where the province system has been very effective – but as with any solution, there are winners and losers.
Let me know what you think.