Ex Scotland captain has one burning question after World Rugby announces new guidelines
By Rugby Onslaught

Ex Scotland captain has one burning question after World Rugby announces new guidelines

Former Scotland captain John Barclay has said that World Rugby’s new training contact guidelines are “a bit of common sense” but has questioned why it is not being implemented sooner.

World Rugby revealed their “recommended contact training limits for the professional” this week, which are hoped to be mandatory come the 2023 World Cup after this trial phase. The recommendations are:

  1. Full contact training: maximum of 15 minutes per week across a maximum of two days per week with Mondays and Fridays comprising zero full contact training to allow for recovery and preparation.
  2. Controlled contact training: maximum of 40 minutes per week.
  3. Live set piece training: maximum of 30 minutes set piece training per week is advised.

However, Barclay, who retired last year at the age of 33, questioned why they are waiting until 2023 on Twitter. Some have said that this is merely to see if the trial works before making it mandatory, but what is apparent is that this is a topic that means a lot to the Scotsman, having suffered a number of head injuries across his career.

World Rugby Director of Rugby and High Performance and former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt added: “Training has increasingly played an important role in injury-prevention as well as performance. While there is a lot less full contact training than many people might imagine, it is our hope that having a central set of guidelines will further inform players and coaches of key considerations for any contact that is done during training.

“These new guidelines, developed by leading experts and supported by the game, are by necessity a work in progress and will be monitored and further researched to understand the positive impact on player welfare. We are encouraged by the response that we have received so far.

“We recognise that community level rugby can be an almost entirely different sport in terms of fitness levels, resources and how players can be expected to train, but the guidelines can be applied at many levels, especially the planning, purpose and monitoring of any contact in training.”