Premiership: Leicester and Bristol bosses want carefully planned Premiership return

Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy has said Premiership players will need two months to properly prepare for a full return to action.

Premiership Rugby hopes to restart the season in July, with clubs waiting for the go-ahead from the rugby union authorities before resuming training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Murphy said the union’s physicality means players must “ramp up” training.

“There has to be a slow, graded re

Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy has said Premiership players will need two months to properly prepare for a full return to action.

Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy has said Premiership players will need two months to properly prepare for a full return to action.

Premiership Rugby hopes to restart the season in July, with clubs waiting for the go-ahead from the rugby union authorities before resuming training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Murphy said the union’s physicality means players must “ramp up” training.

“There has to be a slow, graded return,” he told BBC Radio Leicester.

“That would be a minimum of eight weeks, which is what we’re planning. It will be decided though by the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Players Association, so I don’t know where we will end up.”

Murphy takes over as director of rugby when Steve Borthwick officially becomes head coach on 1 July. Tigers were 11th in the Premiership, the same position they finished in 2018-19 when the season was suspended on 16 March.

But the uncertainty surrounding when the sport will return, how and when this season will be completed and the effect it will have on player contracts is adding further confusion.

“The reality is that we’ll be back as soon as we can in front of crowds, and we expect that our early games will be played behind closed doors,” Murphy added. “It will be unusual to play matches without crowds, but the players will just want to be back on the field and getting rugby back under their belts.

“Our contracts are starting on 1 July, and that’s what we are working towards, fulfilling those contracts. If someone is out of contract, they will join a new club, and we are expecting new players to arrive to start their jobs.

“Having said that, there are a lot of unknowns in that, we need to speak to the RFU and RPA. We are still working towards a start date, and when we know, we will make those assessments.”

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