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Rugby lock-out hinted at by Vunipola

2017-09-15 11:32:00, Views: 19, ICS

Rugby lock-out hinted at by Vunipola

Saracens and England No. 8 Billy Vunipola says leading players could go on strike if the number of games they play is not reduced.

The 24-year-old was recently forced to undergo knee surgery, ruling him out of this summer's British & Irish Lions tour, and Vunipola says the operation was necessary due to wear and tear on his body.

The back-row forward says he is struggling to handle the demands of domestic and international rugby, claiming drastic action is needed to shortened the length of the season and protect players well-being.

The England star has now hinted that players are prepared to walk out on their clubs if the powers that be do not start taking their health in to consideration.

"Everyone complains that they keep pushing the salary cap up but we need more players. It's not about money, it's about the toil we're put through," Vunipola told The Times.

"Something is going to give. Something might happen where we follow the NFL or NBA, where they had a lock-out.

"I'm not saying I'm going to start it, but I feel like something needs to happen for the suits to realise these guys are serious.

"It comes down to how much we play. My body could not handle it. I might think I'm strong and tough but I'm not. I just got worn down.

"The suits are always talking about it but they have never played nine months in today's rugby. It's something I would love to change - play less."


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