Push for 15-minute weekly limit to 'full contact' training

Sports | REUTERS 24 Sep 2021

World Rugby are suggesting top players have a maximum 15 minutes of full contact training a week in guidance aimed at improving player welfare.

The global governing body issued the guidance yesterday after consultation with nearly 600 players from 18 elite competitions.

World Rugby estimates that up to 40 percent of injuries are sustained in training, and the aim is to reduce the amount of time players spend in any kind of contact drills in preparation for matches from the current average of two hours a week.

"Controlled contact training," when teams use tackle bags and pads, should be limited to 40 minutes a week, the guidance suggests, while preparation for set pieces - the scrum and lineout - should last only 30 minutes over a week.

Australia coach Dave Rennie said he wanted more guidance on what constitutes "full contact." He also said players must be primed for the physical demands of matches.

New Zealand coach Ian Foster gave a cautious endorsement of the 15-minute rule but was also curious about what is "full contact."

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