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Sam Warburton: ‘Welsh, Scots and Irish need the English a lot more than the English need them’

20 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Sam Warburton. By National Assembly for Wales (CC 2.0)

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.

‘Problem’ 

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.”

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William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
1 month ago

Welsh, Scots, and Irish need the English a lot more than the English need them

I realise statement this relates to rugby but many readers will not understand that and will mistakenly believe that Wales, Scotland and Ireland need Westminster more than Westminster needs them and is not true.

Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
1 month ago

We’ve been click-baited!

D Herlihy
D Herlihy
1 month ago

Or perhaps they will realise that is the case

Penderyn
Penderyn
1 month ago
Reply to  D Herlihy

Iceland, Malta and many other massively smaller countries seem to do ok without England ruling them

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago

As the song goes

It makes me feel ashamed to be alive
It makes me wanna run away and hide
It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum da da dum dum
I don’t think It’s funny
To see us fade away
It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum da da dum dum
And I think we got it all wrong anyway

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

The basic point that will prevent this happening, a “British ” league, is that the game in the Celtic countries is run by the respective union’s, while it is run by the clubs in England, who would want to control the whole thing, as Huw Davies posted, its all about the money, as witnessed by how the English clubs have pulled out of the European cups twice, so they could alter the tournament to the benefit of English clubs.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Unfortunate headline. Leaving out the word Rugby made this misleading.
Was that deliberate to gain views – or just crappy journalism?
2/10 – must try harder

John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

I fully agree poor journalism, I totally went off Warburton during the Lions SA tour
Not a very impartial journalist

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

With due respect to Sam Warburton. He was a great player for Wales, but I totally disagree. Over the past 15yrs it’s been Wales winning numerous Six Nations & Grand Slams. Ireland too, plus Irish provinces dominating European cups, not England or their club sides. And yes, the Celtic Nations are not perfect by far, but please don’t start this doe eyed subservience towards England when it’s not warranted.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

It’s a money thing and very specific to the domestic game – the way rugby is being done in Wales, Scotland and Ireland is very different to England and France – it’s designed to maximise the performance of the national side. It’s a question of capacity; Wales is too small a nation to run a fully professional league of 10 to 20 Pro clubs (due to the player pool being too small) and expect success for the national team. Thus, regional Rugby and centralised contracts. Sam Warburton’a comments will serve to bolster Welsh Rugby against absorption into an English/European system… Read more »

Penderyn
Penderyn
1 month ago

People can’t claim Sam isn;t Welsh enough ….. he’s very similar to most modern Welsh.

Prone to negativity beyond realism, cowering in the face of a challenge, Lack of belief, tendency to negativity about themselves, parroting of inaccurate portraits of their capability.

He’s a good colonised Welshman….. what more do you want as a representative? People are never satisfied these days

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Penderyn

If he were referring to Wales in general, I’d agree. He isn’t. This is specific to rugby.

Ess magowan
Ess magowan
1 month ago

Here in Northern Ireland we have no National Rugby team. Our Rugby players have to play and represent the Republic of Irelands Rugby team which plays under the mantle of Ireland

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Ess magowan

Genuine question here, not trying to stoke anything. What would you like to see instead? A UK team or a national team for Northern Ireland as in the soccer?

Michael Lloyd
Michael Lloyd
1 month ago

Is that the same as the EU needing us more than we need them. Or is it ones again English arrogance and ignorance.

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