Christian Day: Premiership Rugby's extended season plans are 'upsetting'

Christian Day
Christian Day has been chairman of the Rugby Players' Association since October 2014

Northampton lock Christian Day says proposals to extend the Premiership season to 10 months are "upsetting".

Premiership Rugby plans for the 2019-20 campaign to start in early September and finish at the end of June.

The Rugby Players' Association, which 33-year-old Day is chairman of, "unanimously rejected" the proposals.

"It's not going to happen until 2019 at the earliest and we've made it pretty clear that in its present state we players won't let it happen," said Day.

The plans were revealed following the announcement of the new global calendar in March.

Premiership Rugby said the 10-month campaign will allow clubs to become "more sophisticated" in their management of players, with chief executive Mark McCafferty insisting player welfare remains the priority.

But Day said players were worried about their well-being if a longer season, with only a two-month off-season, were to be implemented.

"Players have had concerns for some time now that professionalism has made the game tougher and tougher. I think it's pretty indisputable that has happened," Day told BBC Radio Northampton.

"Ourselves, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union have worked well for two or three years to try to safeguard players' welfare in a number of ways, particularly around concussion.

"For Premiership Rugby just to spring this on us that - rather than making the season shorter and protecting the players, we're actually going to make it longer because it's better for our product - that's quite upsetting as someone who's tried to be really proactive in making sure players understand commercial aspects of the game but also trying to look after the people that earn that money."

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