Lawyer calls for independent panel to analyse injury trends in English rugby

• Seasons will become longer from 2019-2020
• Steven Baylis: ‘The sport has to do all it can to protect players’

English rugby should set up an independent medical panel to analyse injury trends in the professional game and suggest ways of minimising risk to players to help insulate clubs, and the Rugby Football Union, from legal action in the future, according to a leading negligence lawyer.

From 2019-20, campaigns will last longer but players will have extra rest periods and have a maximum number of matches and game involvements, which will be closely monitored by a new body, the professional game panel. “Clubs have a duty of care to players,” said Steven Baylis, a partner with Lime Personal Injury. “Injuries do seem to be on the increase: what that is down to is for a medical specialist to answer, not a lawyer, but there needs to be more sharing of medical literature about the prevalence of injuries and trends.

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