Billy Vunipola warns of possible strike over player fatigue

‘The suits are always talking, but they have never played nine months in today’s rugby’

 Saracens’ Billy Vunipola missed the Lions tour during the summer due to injury. Photograph: Getty Images

Saracens’ Billy Vunipola missed the Lions tour during the summer due to injury. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Billy Vunipola has called for the rugby season to be shortened considerably after revealing his body “could not handle” the demands of playing for England and Saracens last term.

The 24-year-old number eight missed the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand following surgery on his knee and shoulder, which he claims was necessary as he was “worn down”.

Vunipola warned players may be forced to strike if there is no reduction in the number of matches.

He told the Times: “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.

“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.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.