Rory Best and Irish players reject proposals for Six Nations to be shortened

The RFU is pushing for the championship to be reduced to five weeks.

Ireland captain Rory Best and the majority of his team-mates are against the shortening of the Six Nations.
Ireland captain Rory Best and the majority of his team-mates are against the shortening of the Six Nations.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IRELAND CAPTAIN RORY Best says proposals to truncate the Six Nations to a five-week competition would severely impact the players’ ‘involvement with their clubs once the campaign finishes.’

Rugby Players Ireland, the representative body for professional rugby players in Ireland, today announced the findings of a survey recently carried out on its members, with 93% voting in favour of maintaining the competition’s current seven-week structure.

The idea of shortening the championship was first mooted by the RFU and English Premiership with their proposal to drop the rest weeks.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Best said: “The intensity of the Six Nations Championship is like no other competition I have ever played in.

“If it were to take place over a five or six-week period, players who pick up niggles during the tournament would struggle to return while those who take to the field every week would be fatigued to such an extent that it would undoubtedly impact on their involvement with their clubs once the tournament finishes.

“With the introduction of the bonus-point system, every game counts more than ever before. While we now have plenty of guys who can play their part, the bonus point system dictates that every game counts more than ever before. As one of the best supported competitions in the rugby calendar, every paying fan will expect to see the strongest sides week-in, week-out. It is important that the integrity of the Six Nations, from a spectator’s perspective, remains intact as far as possible.”

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