Limit club duty ahead of Six Nations games, says Townsend

Limit club duty ahead of Six Nations games, says Townsend
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Ireland - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - February 9, 2019 Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo   -  Copyright  LEE SMITH(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says players should not have to turn out for their clubs on a Sunday when there is a Six Nations match the following weekend as it gives them too little time to recover from injury.

Townsend’s comments come after Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell suffered a head injury playing for French club Racing 92 last weekend, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash with France.

“It’s disappointing he played a Sunday before a test match. That was always one of the risks of him playing in France,” Townsend told reporters.

“I’m just disappointed that the French Federation, or the Top 14, had games on Sundays, which makes it very difficult to recover from any injury in a short time. If you have a head injury it is almost impossible to play the following week.

“With the HIA (Head Injury Assessment) process … if anybody is suspected of having a head injury then they go through that process and it effectively rules them out six days later.”

Townsend said countries such as England had the advantage of picking only home-based players, who can be rested from club duty before a Six Nations game.

“It is not a level playing field going into such an important tournament, that our players do play between Six Nations games,” Townsend added.

“But it is what it is, we can’t change it.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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