Premiership players flatly reject 10-month season

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Plans to extend the Premiership season to a 10-month campaign have been firmly rejected by the Rugby Players Association (RPA).

A proposed shake up of the World Rugby calendar from 2019 set the wheels in motion for the Premiership to seek a change in schedule for England's top flight.

The competition currently runs from September to May, with 22 regular-season games followed by the top four clubs competing for the title. Wasps will meet Exeter Chiefs in this season's final on Saturday.

With an international window to be moved to July, it had been proposed to play the Premiership final in June from 2020 onwards, but the RPA say such a move will have detrimental effects on players.

A statement read: "The Premiership season is already longer than comparable contact sports, including Super League, NFL and AFL.

"Extending an already arduous season from nine months to 10 has serious implications for players, given the potential increase to the game, training and psychological loads they face.

"The physical and mental strain placed on participants of professional contact sport cannot be underestimated.

"Perhaps most worryingly is the incredible strain these proposals would place on international players. If the Premiership season retains its current start date, the addition of a July tour schedule will lead to an 11-month season for these players.

"This cannot be avoided unless these players start their domestic season later, which brings into question the need for the season extension."