Strike is an 'option' if extended domestic season is put to action - RPA chief executive Damian Hopley

Rugby Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley says striking is an option in the debate over a 10-month season
Rugby Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley says striking is an option in the debate over a 10-month season
©PA

Rugby Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley insisted that strike can be used as a medium of negotiation if the proposed extended domestic season comes into effect.

Premiership Rugby has come up with a proposal of a 10-month domestic season that will run from September to June when the global calendar kicks-off in 2020. With the summer season moved to July, the only month international players will be rested is August.

Already England internationals Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs and Joe Marler said they would opt for strike if they are to avoid a burnout due to an extended schedule while Jamie Roberts and Dylan Hartley also expressed their opposition on the issue.

Hopley, speaking at the Leaders in Sport summit, said: "Strike action is the ultimate sanction, but the last people the players would want to disengage or disavow would be the fans.

"It's obviously an option, but there's enough commonsense and grey hair around the table to try to find the right solution.

"I think we're all crying out for less, rather than more, at the moment.

"We're very keen to navigate a way through this and find a solution which will work for everyone."

The 47-year-old also pointed out the NFL that has a five-month season and believes quality should be given preference over quantity.

Hopley added: "Less is more. The quality of the games are super high. That's what we're aspiring to.

"Five weeks into the Premiership season the quality has been through the roof. It's just whether that's sustainable."

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