Sam Warburton: ‘Welsh, Scots and Irish need the English a lot more than the English need them’
Sam Warburton has suggested creating a two-tier British and Irish league but says persuading England to join is the major hurdle preventing this from happening.
According to the former Wales rugby captain, who was forced to retire through injury in 2018, a new league format in would promote player welfare.
In a column for The Times he argued that that players should play a maximum of 25 games a season, including international fixtures.
He said this could be achieved by having two twelve-team leagues in which the members of each league will play each other once in a regular season, totalling eleven matches, with play-offs on top.
He also said the European competitions should become a knockout tournament instead of the current format with pool stages.
In his Times column, he wrote: “I actually think the problem is a wider issue about the number of games played.
“I have always said that there should be a maximum of 25 matches a season for each player, including international games.
“If you have the best possible product out there, then there will be less need for so many matches. You should be able to sell a better product more easily and therefore make more money.
“I just don’t think the leagues are structured properly. The truth is that we need a two-tier British and Irish league, but the problem is that the Welsh, Scots and Irish need the English a lot more than the English need them.
“I remember players saying that they would take pay cuts to play fewer games. That is why I am so adamant on less game time.”