The boss of England’s Premier Rugby competition is unhappy with the British and Irish Lions’ tour schedule of New Zealand for next year, claiming it will create long-term injuries.
Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty said the 2017 10-match tour, which will feature three tests against the All Blacks, will have consequences for Premier Rugby players, The Daily Mail reported.
The Lions play the first match of the tour against a New Zealand Provincial Union XV on June 3 next year – a week after the Premiership final at Twickenham.
“It’s a punishing schedule,” McCafferty told the newspaper.
“Personally I don’t know why that was signed up to. To play 10 games over that period of time I think is a lot.
“There’s going to be a difficulty for sure of players coming back off that tour into the Premiership for 17-18.
“The stats will show you that countries that have had a very large contingent of Lions players – and Wales was most recent – tend to suffer more injuries in that following season. It does have an impact. That isn’t necessarily cause and outcome you can see directly.
“It’s one of the elements that’s not sustainable to think that players can go through a club and international season and be involved in that scale of a tour and then be in shape for the following season as well.
Do you agree with the Premiership chief’s comments?