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'Enjoy this weekend, it might be the last' | Keith Wood on rugby's perilous state

Keith Wood joined Monday Night Rugby on Off The Ball and believes that this weekend might be the ...

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

20:50 6 Jan 2021



Rugby

'Enjoy this weekend, it might be the last' | Keith Wood on rugby's perilous state

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

20:50 6 Jan 2021


Keith Wood joined Monday Night Rugby on Off The Ball and believes that this weekend might be the last round of action we see for a while.

As many sports are noticing spikes in COVID_19 cases in line with the rest of the population, Keith Wood admitted he doesn't envy those who are trying to plan the calendar.

"It's an incredibly difficult time, who would want to be an administrator, even though we slag them off form time to time. It's very very tough and the longer this goes on it puts the sport in jeopardy."

The increase in cases across sports  as is the case in the general population has led journalist Ruaidhri O'Connor to believe rugby will have major cancellations over the next while.

"I think everyone needs to enjoy these two PRO 14 games at the weekend because the Heineken European Champions Cup schedule, I think, will be fairly damaged over the next few weeks," said the Irish Independent journalist.

"The Northampton Saints have already called off their game this weekend and they are supposed to be coming to Dublin the following week.

"They are out of contention in the Champions Cup at this stage and if you are out of contention and you have a couple of cases, you're worried.

"They [British clubs] have changed their testing procedures to get inline with the Top 14 clubs, they have brought it closer to kick-off.

"Then the games get called off, so [this way] you don't have teams with an outbreak informing the other team subsequently and they have to isolate, which has cost teams points and they have had to cancel games."

Wood: No billionaire backers

If a sporting organisation as rich as the Premier League is seeing spikes in cases that should be a concern for sports where income is under severe pressure, according to Keith Wood.

"They have huge resources, all these things cost," noted the former Ireland hooker.

"They [tests] cost a huge amount of money when you start to multiply them across 40 players or 50 people in a squad and you are doing it twice a week and there is no money coming in.

"You can do that when you have billionaire backers or in Premier League with the amount of money that comes in for rights are colossal but even then, they are under pressure," Wood said.

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Connacht Heineken European Champions Cup Keith Wood Leinster Munster Northampton Saints Pro 14 Ruaidhri O'connor Ulster Wednesday Night Rugby

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