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Players Welfare Priority: Pichot

Players Welfare Priority: Pichot
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s have a team talk during the Rugby World Cup 7s in San Franciso on July 21, 2018. Photo: Kitione Rokomanu/ ZoomFiji
July 22
11:34 2018

World Rugby’s top brass have used the Rug­by World Cup Sevens in San Francisco as a platform to address injury concerns.

This was after Wales captain Sam Warbur­ton’s recent announcement of his retire­ment.

Warburton, who captained Wales a record 49 times, sparked debates about tackling rules and training regimens when he said he couldn’t return from neck and knee surger­ies.

“Before, when you got knocked in the head, it was something brave to carry on playing,” said World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pi­chot, the former Argentine captain.

“The game has changed. The safety of the players is priority No. 1.”

Pichot met with the players association last month to discuss possible limits on training and intimated that there may be changes coming with regard to high tackles.

Training limits are more problematic than tackling rule changes, because the rugby governing body can make suggestions to na­tional teams, but players also log time with a variety of club teams in a sport that is played nearly year-round.

Warburton, 29, played for the Cardiff Blues as well as making 74 appearances for Wales. During his career, he had a plate inserted into his jaw, shoulder nerve damage and sur­geries on his knees and hamstring.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont also retired from his playing days for England at 29.

He told a roundtable of media members in a suite at AT&T Park that every injury is ana­lysed and studies are being done about train­ing loads.

“Rest assured, we have player welfare al­ways at the forefront of everything we do,” Beaumont said.

“We are player-centric.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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